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How to Hold Employees Accountable?

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

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How To Hold Employees Accountable?

Table of Contents

Wondering How to Hold Your Employees Accountable?

To achieve great business results, accountability is the key. Then why do many business leaders and managers fail to hold their employees accountable?

It is even difficult for the managers and leaders of big corporations to hold people accountable. However, if you do it the right way, accountability can result in increased confidence among employees leading to successful business outcomes.

So, why do you struggle, and what are the methods to hold employees accountable in the right manner? That’s what you are going to read as you proceed with the article.

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Why Is It Difficult To Hold Employees Accountable?

The company’s morale, culture, and performance suffer when employees are not held accountable for their irresponsibility. The loyalty and credibility of the leader come under scrutiny when employees are given leniency for poor performance, inconsistent behavior, and missed deadlines.  

When accountability holds so much importance, then why do leaders struggle with it?

Not Setting Clear Expectations

As a leader, it becomes your sole duty to set clear expectations among your employees. When employees don’t know what they are expected of and the outcome of their task, they are bound to fail.

As a result, your company will have to face the consequences.

Not Accountable For Your Own Deadlines And Behavior

You have to set an example in front of your employees and be accountable for your own mistakes. If you are not accountable to yourself, how can you hold someone else accountable?

On similar lines, if you hold someone accountable occasionally, it can create an environment of biasness. And, that is not a good environment to work in.

Methods To Hold Employees Accountable

There are ways to hold your employees accountable without creating mismanagement in the company.

Setting Clear Goals And Expectations

Your first duty is to set clear goals and expectations using the employee handbook to outline guidelines, performance plans, and SMART goals.

As soon as you have established the expectations and goals, make sure you give them a clear explanation verbally as well as in writing. You can provide them with a handbook or email explaining their duties so that you can refer to these conversations when they fail to perform accordingly.

Giving Proper Feedback

Everyone would like honest feedback on their work and overall performance. It offers them a chance to improve at what they do. So, whenever you hold employees accountable, make sure to explain to them where they need improvement and where they are doing things right.

You can provide them with generic feedback focusing on their overall behavior and its consequences.

Provide Them With Data

Sometimes, employees believe that they are being targeted personally. So, you should be ready with data to show them where they went wrong and why you are holding them accountable.

Also, you can make the data as transparent as you can so that your employees know where they are standing in the company.

Provide A Realistic Timeline

Accountability in a business corporation would mean finishing the given task before deadlines. So, you need to make sure that you are setting realistic deadlines so that each task is completed on time.

Some methods to set a realistic timeline:

  • Plan the timelines keeping in mind the holidays and personal leaves
  • Discuss whether they are working on any high priority task
  • Discuss the estimated timeline they need to complete the task at hand

Make A Communication Plan

Make sure that communication is there from both ends. You should get updates from your employees and ask them to respond timely and provide updates about all the deliveries.

Or, you can make the schedule as to when you need updates for a given task for a better workflow and smooth operation in the company.

Final Thoughts

You will find some people with excellent management skills. However, there are some people who keep delaying their tasks, and the whole organization has to suffer because of them. So, it becomes necessary to make the employees understand where they are lacking.

It isn’t an easy task to hold your employees accountable, but it is needed to improve the company’s workflow and achieve desired business outcomes.

You can implement the tips mentioned above in your leadership roles to streamline the process of accountability.

Updated: 27/11/23