Accountability is among the few words that hold a tight wincing effect in corporate vernacular. According to data, about 82% of managers agree that they have “limited to no” power or ability to induce accountability in others.
While on the other hand, about 91% of employees say that “effectively holding others accountable” is a need for the company’s leadership development. Furthermore, as per Gallup studies, only 14% of employees feel being managed in a motivational way.
And it should not come as a surprise that employees who feel that their managers are supporting are primarily women. Why so? The underlying problem of accountability has to do a little more than the current implemented accountability process.
Here’s how managers can induce accountability in 21 simple ways.
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Being active is something that managers expect from their employees. However, this goes both ways. Your employees won’t follow or listen to you if you’re passive when taking action.
Take the initiative at work and try to come up with constructive solutions for problems instead of complaining or dodging them.
Try to nurture a proactive attitude instead of a reactive one. It’s crucial to analyze the situation before you dive straight into it. This allows you to understand your stance in the scenario and reevaluate your next move.
Remember, it’s a strategic move to take a step back when things aren’t working in your favour.
Perhaps willingness to learn is one of the most admirable traits of accountability. It allows you to broaden your horizon and learn something new every day. After all, there has to be a first time for everything. You can’t have a second time first for something you’ve never learned.
Acknowledging your mistakes makes room for improvement and growth. The more you grow as a manager, the better you’ll be able to guide your team.
Do not cultivate an accepting culture at work when you witness something wrong. This will create more such scenarios in the future. Instead, speak up and take action if needed.
Managerial positions come with great accountability, and at times, it takes courage to implement the accountability process.
Accountability means talking, accessing and affirming contributions that have led to improvement. It also means strengthening those contributions to make room for further innovation. However, this process isn’t exclusive to just employees, and it’s also applicable to managers.
And having an accepting attitude towards constructive criticism can be the first step towards it.
With work culture continuously evolving, leaders need to make their employees feel their work is honoured. Instead of overly formal quarterly or monthly reports, questions like, “What were your learnings this month?” should be asked.
This will stir employees’ eagerness and make them take pride in their work.
When employees see the goal oriented attitude of their leaders, they, too, feel motivated to work. Focusing on your goals opens up the portal of opportunities for employees and allows them to shine.
Eliminating rote updates in reports and instead of asking people the story of their work increases communication. Rather than saying, ‘good job’ when someone completes their task, try asking for details. This will make them feel proud and accomplished in their work.
Accepting your mistake when need is will not only allow your development as a manager but also of your team. Doing so will make them less inclined or guarded while learning and more comfortable. This trait goes a long way in reducing the possibility of future errors.
Employees tend to lose their confidence in the organization when outlined protocols are not followed. However, even if the organization’s formal procedures are deeply flawed, it’s managers’ job to ensure employees are motivated to work.
To do so, it’s essential to redefine the accountability culture in your workplace drastically.
You won’t be respected or valued in your workplace if you’re present at the workplace. As a manager, it’s your duty to set an example to show up for work on time. And at times, even ahead of schedule if need be.
Confront problems directly instead of putting them on hold. This will further allow you to demonstrate your leadership skills and set an excellent example for your team.
Leadership doesn’t mean the perfect execution of a task or project. If anything, it’s an after-effect of leadership. Instead, it’s about creating the best possible conditions for people in which they thrive and make significant contributions while truly enjoying it.
Focusing on transparency helps to expose biases rooted in the accountability systems. According to Ron Carrucci, leaders should ask questions like, “Who has access to prized opportunities?” “Whose voices and ideas are getting included?”
This will help them to eliminate managers’ biases in the organization.
Lending a helping hand to your team allows you to do your job better. Furthermore, it also demonstrates your accountability towards the team simultaneously.
Trying to resolve before they escalate is one of the core practices of the accountability system. You should look at the root of the problem to eliminate any issues pertaining to the situation. This’ll also save you a ton of trouble in the future.
Developing an eye for detail will allow you to avoid any mistakes before you submit the work. Looking at the outcome of your team on a regular basis helps you identify the need for training and workshop sessions as well.
Your team output is a reflection of your accountability and working ethics. Try stepping up and working on the loopholes with the team instead of reflexively finding faults in their work. This will enhance your team’s overall performance and your reputation.
The quality of feedback improves when its focus shifts from surveillance to dignity. When employees find that their managers are genuinely interested in their growth and success, they stop hiding their underperformance. They are also more comfortable with feedback and constructive criticism.
The reason why employees dread the accountability system of their organization is that it’s often perceived as shameful and a failure. As a result, people start pointing fingers to blame others to hide their faults.
At such times, it’s essential that managers “treat mistakes restoratively”. It’s vital to understand the growth of a person rather than the result of a single assignment. It’s imperative that managers act with humility, patience and grace at such times.
Accountability in organizations still has a long way to go before it’s accepted as a welcomed process. Proactive attitude and positive feedback motivate employees to embrace opportunities that allow them to grow and enhance their performance.
However, following these 21 examples is undoubtedly a strong start to making the accountability system fair and restorative.