In our past discussions, we have discussed accountability, ownership and how it impacts the organization’s growth. The organization’s growth depends on the employee’s performance and deliverables. And only a committed, competent and accountable employee can deliver the desired and enhanced results. Regarding teams’ performance, it depends on everyone’s dedication and competence towards the task and the accountability and ownership of their actions and decisions. So, as a manager, how will you ensure that your team or teams are performing to their best level? Are they able to deliver the tasks on time? What standards of deliverables are delivered? As an accountable manager, you ensure that you teach and be a good role model of accountable behavior. Your employees would look upon you as a great example and learn from you. So, today we will look at the ways to increase accountability to improve team performance. But before that, let us understand what team performance is.
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When we say performance, we are talking about the output and revenue generated quality of tasks handed in by the employees. But when we say teams’ performance, it is solely dependent on the collective effort made by the employees to work and perform at their best. So, the teammates have to ensure that they build excellent and trustable relationships with each other; they take ownership as a group, not as an individual; they are willing to work together on the projects; they are eager to brainstorm ideas and listen to each other. So, what is the role of a manager when it comes to increasing accountability amongst his team members?
As a manager, ensure that you are an accountable manager. Teach them the importance of accountable actions. Teach your employees how important it is to build a respectful and trustable relationship. Share your learnings and experience with the team. Ensure that you are approachable and available to listen to them. Share how they can be disciplined and create milestones to monitor their progress. The manager should be able to stand up for his team’s failures and successes; this way, the employees would learn to stand up for themselves.
Sharing information encourages employees to remain focused and engaged. If the manager creates a transparent work environment, employees feel more comfortable sharing their challenges with him. Set the roles and expectations clearly, and give them the clarity of performance standards.
A good manager doesn’t like to give orders or boss around his employees. Instead, he wants to listen to his employees’ challenges and conducts discussions to ensure they can empower themselves to get better results. At the same time, the manager has to be firm with the employees to ensure that he is looking for improved performance.
With transparency and an open-door policy, employees get more comfortable and build stronger relationships with their managers. They can trust their managers and know they can discuss the challenges at any given time.
Give your employees a chance to brainstorm collectively. Sit with them and understand the challenges that they have been facing. Why they are facing this will help them acknowledge the mistakes and how they can improve. Here, with a brainstorming session, we are not encouraging spoon-feeding or hand-holding the employee. When you conduct brainstorming sessions, you will allow them to think outside the box by cross-questioning them and letting them think of more challenges they might face. It will enable them to think proactively.
When we are looking for improvement, then as a manager, one must provide feedback from time to time. As you develop an accountable culture in your office, you will realize that your employees are learning to positively accept feedback. They acknowledge their mistakes and will understand where they must improve themselves. The open-door policy and brainstorming sessions will allow them to believe and build trust in you as a manager. If the team has been performing to an exceptional level, then it is vital that you must reward them.
What will encourage employees more is when the employees learn about your objectives, how you have planned for your tasks, and how you are sharing your progress with your employees. It will help them plan better and understand that you, as a manager, have your own goals, and the teams’ goals are also your responsibilities.
To summarize, accountability helps in improving both individual and team performance. As a manager, you set clear expectations, give them proper time to brainstorm, share your goals and progress, and give them feedback from time to time. Rewarding them on a performance basis will keep them committed and dedicated to their roles and tasks. When you are approachable, and you don’t simply boss around as a manager, the employees become more comfortable sharing their challenges, and they will look up to you as a great leader. As a role model for the team, you will set exemplary standards of accountable behavior for them, and they will learn from your actions.