HOW CAN I MAKE PEOPLE MORE ACCOUNTABLE? As a trainer, I get this question a lot. In fact, I'd have to say that in general, making people more accountable is one of the top aspirations of most managers. And most people don’t think accountability is worth the trouble. Here’s the bad news: You can't make people accountable. Accountability isn't something that can be mandated. It's not something managers can enforce. It's something that each person believes in and makes a commitment to. It's a mental and emotional state, not some condition that managers impose.With accountability, you get better results, improved teamwork, and clarity. Without it, you get blame, finger-pointing, missed deadlines and low morale. This program reveals an approach to accountability that improves individual and organizational performance.We want people to be accountable, but seldom do WE want to be accountable. So what *is* accountability? Accountability is acknowledging, assuming responsibility for and being transparent about the impacts of your policies, decisions, products and associated performance. It’s taking a stance of “The buck stops here”. It's doing what you say you will do...doing what you have agreed to do, even when it means going outside of your comfort zone. It is a serious matter because without systematic accountability in an organization there is little chance of high performance.
Builds an “accountability culture” within your organizationImproves results and morale among team membersTeaches the importance of keeping agreements and ownershipSo how does it happen? Real accountability occurs when employees believe these five things: Their work matters. They have substantial control over their ability to succeed or fail. The quality and timeliness of the work is important. The rewards and consequences that result from their work are fair. They have reasonable influence on the evaluation of their work.
Accepting accountability moves us from a “victim” mindset towards one of accountability. Taking an accountability mindset gives us a sense ofcontrol over the direction of the project.How do you accept assignments and challenges?How do you approach taking action to complete the task?How you solve problems?How do you own the results of your actions?You must CHOOSE accountability. You can also help to create an environment that encourages others in your department or work group to also make that choice. Here's how:Communicate the importance of work. Structure work to give people control over their own success. Recognize and reward outstanding work. Ensure that rewards and consequences are consistently and fairly meted out and are proportional to success or failure. Take reasonable extenuating circumstances into account. Structure work in such a way that people owe things to one another rather to the supervisor.
Accountability is a personal willingness – before AND after the fact - to answer for the results of your behaviors and actions, regardless of how things turn out.When outcomes are successful, you and your team deserve the credit and get to celebrate the achievement. When outcomes are unsuccessful, you must avoid placing blame on others and take responsibility for fixing the problem and learning from the experience.A GOOD PLAN FOR TAKING ACCOUNTABILITYSetting expectations (what is the outcome of the task? When is it due?)Inviting commitment (who is the owner of the project and each portion of the task?)Measuring results Providing feedback Linking results to consequences Evaluating your own effectiveness Look back at the agreement to make sure you completed each step, andto understand and fix any problems.
When outcomes are unsuccessful, we avoid placing blame onothers. We take responsibility for fixing the problem and learning from theexperience.The first step in learning to become accountable is to look back on one of your most recent failures and learn from what happened. Think about:What you didWhat you learnedWhat you will do to rectify the situation or fix the problemWhat you will do differently on a similar, future assignment
TYPICAL QUESTIONS:Why is this happing to me?When is someone going to tell us what’s going on?Who’s going to solve the problem?Who dropped the ball?When is somebody going to train me?When is that department going to do its job right?Change your thought process from negative to positive by asking questions that begin with “what” or “how”, and ask questions that contain an “I” and focus on action.BETTER QUESTIONS:What can I do to make a difference?How can I help?What choices do I have right now?When we ask better questions, we get better answers and results!
Good Work Ethic TraitsDependabilityConsideration of othersTrustworthiness: Refrain from gossip about othersRespectfulness: Values and beliefs may differCourtesyConscientiousnessHonestyCooperationAttitude – Be positive about your job and the contribution you make