6 effective ways to include accountability in office
A lack of accountability sends a message to the rest of your staff that lower standards are ok. The team may begin to resent the low-performing employee and his or her manager because they have to shoulder more work to make up for their teammate’s deficiencies. Sometimes managers will let employees avoid accountability because they dislike confrontation. But a lack of individual accountability is bad all around.
Have the difficult conversation
While holding employees accountable may sound confrontational, it doesn’t have to be. Just remember to focus on the performance, not the person. Assume that most people genuinely want to do a good job and aren’t being difficult on purpose.
Employees may not understand how their behavior affects other team members. Other common reasons for inadequate performance:
- The manager didn’t give clear instructions
- Extra training is needed
- Technical issue
- Conflicting priorities
Giving tough feedback isn’t easy, but you can get better at it. Not only that, but one of the most important things you do as a manager is provide feedback because not giving feedback is one of the most demotivating things you can do to your employees. Even negative feedback is better than being ignored. When you regularly give feedback (including positive feedback), it makes tough feedback much easier.
Consider your employees’ feelings
Start with the assumption that people sometimes don’t understand the impact of their behavior. It’s your job as supervisor to be kind, find the root cause of the problem and establish a mutual way forward.
Throughout your conversation, concentrate on maintaining the employee’s self-esteem by showing concern for the individual as well as for the company’s needs.
Make accountability a habit
Setting up a reminder to give (and solicit) feedback as part of each agenda will help ensure that feedback flows consistently. We believe one-on-ones and team-meetings are great opportunities to build a habit around accountability.
Follow through and follow up
After every conversation, write down what was said. You don’t have to report every issue to hr, but it helps to send an email to yourself and the employee to outline the problem that was addressed, the solutions you both agreed upon and the expectations for future behavior. This helps clarify the conversation for everyone involved, and gives you a paper trail should additional action be necessary.
Keep track of your commitments and hold each other accountable
If you make a promise to provide more positive feedback, make sure you add that as a future agenda item to check in to hold yourself accountable. If your employee commits to providing a work back schedule for a project by such and such a date, make sure you have a way to check-in on that day.