Berger Leadership Blog

Dec 17, 2021

Five Steps to Accountability

As leaders, it’s easy to become complacent when it comes to monitoring our employees and holding them accountable. Even if they are doing a fantastic job, there will always be room for improvement. Therefore, it’s important to check in occasionally and understand how we track our employees’ accountability.

In his article, John Spence outlines the five steps to accountability that all leaders should keep in mind when checking in on their employees.

1. 100% Clarity & Authority

As leaders, ensuring accountability starts with sitting down with the person who will be held accountable for a desired task and ensuring that you have 100% clarity on the expectations, the measures of success, the timeline, and resources available on exactly what outcome you want them to deliver. In addition, you must make sure that the person has the appropriate authority to deliver the results you’re requesting of them.

2. 100% Agreement

After taking the time to clearly explain your expectations, you must get this person to tell you clearly that they understand the measurements, the metrics, the timeline, and the resources available to them, that you have given them the authority needed to accomplish the task, and their acceptance of the goal.

3. Track & Post

Next you need to track the essential metrics so that everyone knows exactly where they stand against their key objectives. Create a dashboard with a whiteboard, poster board, or software, so the information is clear, and everyone knows exactly what they need to do to achieve the goal.

4. Coach, Mentor and Train

Once you begin to track and post results, you must use that dashboard to help you identify when people are struggling. Then offer all training, help, support, and resources they need to get back on track and successfully achieve their goals.

5. Reward Success Lavishly & Deal Decisively with Mediocrity

To have employees feel 100% accountable, you need to equally reward and deal with repercussions. For those holding themselves accountable and delivering the required results: give them praise, recognition, and rewards. For those who do not deliver the required results, it’s important to be appropriate in the way you handle it – whether it be a conversation or an outline of how to move forward so that success can be achieved next time.

Employees respond to recognition. As leaders, it’s important for us to provide clarity on our expectations to ensure that our employees hold themselves accountable for their tasks and projects.

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