Do some of your team members fail to complete their tasks, even if you set reasonable deadlines? Or do they meet the deadline, but the quality isn’t at par with your expectations? How about when things go wrong—do your staff members blame others and often repeat the same mistakes?
Hey, watch where you point that thing.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s likely that your people are not holding themselves accountable. Sometimes, that is an attitude problem they need to work on in themselves. But guess what? Sometimes, it’s not their fault!
There can be underlying issues in the company, such as a lack of clearly defined roles and responsibilities, confusing processes, unrealistic goals, or limited resources. And employees who don’t feel secure in their position may see accountability as shifting blame for mistakes, rather than a commitment to perform their roles well and help the team.
Successful business leaders understand this! They do their best to get to the root of the problem instead of berating their team because the reality is this: the latter doesn’t really inspire change. Chances are high that your staff members might even find you condescending or threatening.
So what can you do to identify and solve the real issue at hand?
Take a hard look at your current approach before you initiate a conversation with your staff. See if there are things that you can do on your end to help your employees. Check whether there are gaps in your communication, procedures, or other areas that are contributing to the problem.
After assessing yourself and your systems, you can meet with your team members to discuss your findings. It’s important to involve them in the creation of the solution because, ultimately, it’s for their benefit.
Start the conversation by describing a business challenge and inviting input. Let them know that you value their ideas, that you respect and trust them enough to brainstorm solutions.
When employees are involved in creating a plan, they will feel more committed to seeing it through and taking responsibility for its execution.
Make sure to ask relevant questions that will allow you better understand their needs and motivations. You can tell them your observations regarding their work performance or habits while taking care to avoid judgmental language. It is absolutely crucial to create a safe environment and make them feel that you’re coming from a place of genuine concern and curiosity on how you can better support them, so you avoid making them defensive when they receive feedback.
Once you have identified what is truly holding them back, you should ensure that all parties are in agreement on your next steps. By collaborating with them, you’ll be able to avoid setting up unrealistic expectations.
Remember to document your agreed-upon course of action, so you can keep track of them and evaluate what works and what doesn’t down the line. By measuring their progress regularly, they can observe the impact of their actions (or inaction) and course-correct as necessary.
This will help them take more ownership of their work.
And there you have it! We have just discussed how to foster accountability in your organization. I hope you have gained valuable insights on bridging the gap between your goals and execution by holding your team to their commitments, finding common ground, and fostering feelings of trust and safety.
If you need more guidance and support, don’t hesitate to reach to us!