It’s a serious problem. One study of more than 5,400 upper-level managers found that accountability was their single most neglected behavior and that 46% failed to perform in this critical area.
The responsibility for accountability falls squarely on the shoulders of managers if they want to keep on top of project development. Here are seven ways I have found helpful and can allow leaders to create a culture of accountability in order to enhance their performance management.
Set clear expectations.
A workplace accountability study by Partners in Leadership and announced in a press release found a “startling absence of clearly defined objectives.” The study also discovered 85% of employees weren’t even sure what their organizations are trying to achieve.
If no one knows the destination, no one is going to get there. The more clearly that managers outline expectations upfront, the less time will be wasted later reiterating and clarifying or, worse still, arguing about the lack of progress.
Get mutual agreement.
One way to do this is by showing employees how their involvement contributes to the company’s big picture success as well as their personal benefit through a rewards and recognition program. If you give the employee the opportunity to come up with their own solutions, you share the responsibility and increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.
One way to keep yourself accountable is to acknowledge any mistakes you have made. If you explain what you did wrong and how you corrected the situation, you will instill trust in your leadership.
The Covid-19 pandemic has stretched and stressed everyone to the max and, along the way, often led to a more understanding and compassionate workplace. You can maintain that environment by talking through the challenges of a project, helping them appreciate how they’ve grown as a result and emphasizing that you’re always available to help them.
Accountability is vital for a company’s growth. If you don’t hold employees accountable you create a culture of mediocrity. Adopting a policy in which — in partnership — everyone on the team strives to meet stated goals creates instead a positive, rewarding culture in which everyone is proud of the part they play.