Lately a lot of my work has been with leaders and businesses around accountability.
We often blame our staff for not doing the tasks we have set them or the tasks they have set themselves, but as leaders we also need to reflect on our own behaviour. Accountability is a two way street.
While creating accountability in your team may seem daunting and even terrifying if you don’t like confrontation, not doing it can be a recipe for a disaster. After all, if your team knows you won’t hold them accountable, why would they hold themselves accountable?
The truth is if you want to create a high performing team with a strong collaborative and productive culture, you need to hold yourself accountable when it comes to keeping your team accountable.
But don’t worry; it’s not all conflict and confrontation! In fact if you lead your team right this won’t be an issue. Need a little help? Here are four ways to create more accountability within your team.
1. Communicate and delegate clearly
When you set a goal or task for you team, provide a clear outline of what needs to be done and when you need it by. Poor performance and laziness cannot hide behind clear instructions and expectations. Communicating and delegating clearly will help you keep your team more accountable without confrontation, conflict or confusion.
2. Be a passion maker
Share your passion with your team and be encouraging, energetic and enthusiastic when you talk to them. By doing so your team is more likely to ‘catch’ your passion and work harder to achieve the goals you set before them. If you can inspire a love for what they do, your team will naturally perform better and hold themselves accountable to achieving their tasks.
3. Create accountability partners
Never underestimate the power of having someone to answer to, and a little healthy competition. On our own we can procrastinate, incorrectly prioritise our tasks and make excuses, but when we work closely with a peer we naturally feel the healthy pressure to perform and compete. If a team member is paired with someone who excels they will naturally lift their game and become more productive.
4. Support your team to achieve
Become a trusted point of contact for your team. Allow them to make mistakes, ask questions, action their ideas, and feel safe when approaching you. Provide them with training, resources and coaching where they need it. This approach fosters an environment of trust, which breeds loyalty and accountability. If your team feels appreciated and valued by you, they will go the extra mile and take more ownership over their work, and ownership is key to creating personal accountability.
Keep in mind that your teams’ relationship with you can be a determining factor in how hard they work for you. Think over your own career, when you’ve had a good relationship with your boss did you work harder and hold yourself more accountable?
How do you create more accountability within your team and within yourself?