If your team is producing sub-par work, forgettng deadlines or simply not getting things done, it’s time to address accountability.
Denying accountability is a problem that can lead to more mistakes and decreased quality of performance.
By expliciting relaying your expectation, giving feedback and establishing incentive, teams will be more aligned and committed to their actions.
Here we will give you some ideas about what to do for your team.
Close the Gap
If your team doesn’t know what you expect of them, you will both wind up disappointed.
Expectations simply boils down to communication.
Are you communicating clearly what you expect from your team members?
Establishing well-defined expectations will create more clarity, reduce stress and make performance more measurable.
Here’s how to close the gap:
- Define company strategy and direction, as well as individual goals.
- Distinguish between the types of expectations: organizational, individual and cultural.
- Develop your employees’ strengths through training, mentoring and feedback.
- Ask directly if your team members know what is expected of them.
Don’t Be Afraid to Give Negative Feedback.
Feedback lets an employee know how they’re performing and evaluates progress on specific goals or outcomes.
Negative feedback can be difficult to share, but is a necessity for the health of an organization. Compassionate criticism helps employees understand where they’re falling short without derailing their motivation.
The following steps help leaders give feedback even when it’s not so great:
- Try the ‘Compliment + Criticism + Compliment’
- Show how your feedback impacts the business, rather than just giving orders.
- Help your employee improve by detailing actionable steps.
- Don’t make your feedback personal or tie your ego into the situation.
Create Incentives for Desired Behaviors.
Many organizations instill fear or consequences for unfavorable behavior. This strategy can tear teams apart and establish fear and distrust within an organization.
Fear can inhibit creativity and autonomy, thus holding back your organization from its higher potential. Employees shouldn’t fear mistakes, but should also stay sharp and attentive to their work.
Oftentimes verbal praise is incentive enough to motivate an employee.
Employees may join an organization for financial gain, but they stay because of the people. Building strong ties and emotional bonds with your employees via praise, mentorship or other such activities can strengthen the connection employees feel to their work and their team.
The Bottom Line
Accountability is a team effort. Servant-leaders share the responsibility for results and performance with their team members.
If your team is having accountability and performance issues, identify how your leadership style could hold some responsibility. Growth is a never-ending part of leadership and will be reflected in how your team performs.
How do you hold yourself accountable as a leader? Let us know in the comments below.