As an HR professional, I could not agree more that we need to hold employees accountable for their performance. In fact, I find that leaders don’t do this enough. However, the biggest problem I see leaders make when it comes to accountability, besides the fact that they don’t do it enough, is that they try to hold people accountable without ever providing the proper training or support.
If you’re team is not meeting expectations or you’re not meeting your numbers for the month, why not start by asking what you can do? Too many leaders look first to blame their staff – they’re not working hard enough, they’re not competent enough, they don’t care about their work enough. Well, sometimes, it might be because they have not received enough resources, guidance, technology or training.
Next time your team falls short, don’t look for blame but instead, look for areas where you can help. If you don’t know where the problem is or how to help them, ask. Ask for feedback from the staff. They usually know exactly where they need help and what would help them do their jobs better.
Leaders should take ownership in improving and developing their teams to be successful. Once you do that, then you can set clear expectations and hold people accountable. Only when you have done everything in your power to make your team successful can you realistically hold them accountable for performance.
Invest the time in your people and it’ll pay off. Not only will you develop a strong team that way but you’ll boost morale. People will want to work for you and do their best every day because you invested in them and believe in them.
Once you’ve done everything to make your team successful and hold them accountable, you’ll be able to more accurately distinguish the ones who still can’t cut it. As a leader, you have the power to give employees encouragement, tools/resources and independence to do their work, make decisions and succeed. If you don’t give people the tools to do their job effectively/efficiently, you can’t expect fast/accurate results.