Without a strong expectation of accountability:
- Performance is mediocre
- Fire fighting takes a lot of time
- Lack of ownership
- Constant follow-up
- Recreating the wheel
- Missed deadlines
- Lackluster results
- Repeated mistakes
Building an expectation of accountability is no easy task. You must:
- Say It – Communicate Accountability
- Share expectations in a written form and discuss these expectations in a forum where everyone is speaking and contributing
- Continue to reinforce expectations with ongoing conversations ‘on the go’ as well as in structured interactions or coaching sessions.
- Include an expectation of individual professional and company growth in all you write, say and do.
- Plan It – Realistic Accountability Roadmap
- Create a written plan based on clear goals and objectives, documenting how things will get done. Testing reality is a necessity and everyone’s input is required.
- Literally plot the plan on a calendar or chart and assign responsibilities and deadlines.
- Act on It – Do What You Said You Would Do
- Identify your problem solving process clearly, and follow that process when it becomes a challenge to do what you had planned or you get off track.
- Utilize each person’s skills, strengths and focus on the goals and objectives.
- Use the Opportunity Space™ (the moment between when someone does or says something and you respond) to respond purposefully and create stronger relationships within your team.
- Report It – Critical to Accountability
- Set expected, routine times and venues for each person to report their own successes and challenges. Create agendas that lead the meeting and hold people accountable.
- Identify key metrics, measure and discuss them routinely, and involve others in the gathering of information and reporting, especially their own, results.
- Celebrate success and address shortcomings through curious conversations and asking good questions to get others to talk – when they are talking is when they are thinking, committing and engaging.
You lose credibility when what you promise, what you expect or what you set as a goal, does not happen. Your credibility is very difficult to rebuild. However, many work environments do not have the components of accountability in place and therefore experience repeated issues, mistakes, frustrations and negative results.
Each individual should demand accountability. It is an opportunity to celebrate your success, ask for help if you need it, and proactively prepare for others’ changing expectations or disapproval.
Do you work in an organization that focuses on accountability? What will YOU do TODAY to begin to create that focus?