Having accountable employees is one step away from having a
business that runs itself. The benefits of employee accountability
for a CEO are numerous and include:
reduced stress levels, because you know you can count on your
more time to focus on strategically critical tasks, or even
maximum productivity from a staff working at full-performance
confident, engaged employees who, by choice, expand their
potential to contribute to the enterprise
trust and respect among team members.
Seven tips for creating an accountability culture
As a business owner or CEO, of course, you want your workers to
be accountable. But you can't just ask them to be accountable
and expect it to happen. So how do you make it happen? Here are
seven tips for creating a culture of employee accountability in
Don't tell your staff what to do and how to do
Managers are problem solvers. Their
default style, honed over many years, is to take responsibility for
their people and come up with solutions to problems. When coaching
your staff to be more accountable, however, you must overcome the
knee-jerk tendency to give your staff the answers, or telling them
what to do and how to do it.
Give them clear goals and a lot of latitude around how
to achieve them
Let employees choose how they will
accomplish their work goals. If they go off track or fall behind,
you can always step in and lead a discussion about what they could
do differently to recover.
Let them know you expect them to take
Early on in your working
relationship, tell your employee that you expect them to come up
with most answers to work-related problems and that you want them
to take prime responsibility for work performance, career
aspirations and job satisfaction. That said, however, you will
still be there as a support, coach and advisor.
Ease off your direction as soon as they start to get it
Leadership® teaches that the amount of direction and
support you give an employee around a particular task depends on
(i) their motivation and self-confidence and (ii) their competency
to perform it. Employees may well require your active involvement
with new responsibilities. But as soon as they don't, get out
of the way!
Resist solving their problems; turn it back on them for
When an employee brings you a
question or problem that they should be able to handle, and you
solve it, everyone feels good and we can all get on with our work.
But you are building dependency, not accountability. Instead, ask
for their ideas.
Ask questions that focus on their thinking process, not
When an employee comes to you, ask
what they want from you. Are they seeking a solution, advice,
ideas, or perhaps just a sympathetic ear? Then turn the question
back to them by saying, "What have you tried or considered?
What might be a solution or course of action? Where could you get
Recognise and acknowledge when they take
It takes courage for employees to act
with accountability. After all, they could fail. So, whenever an
employee does step up and take responsibility for solving a
problem, improving performance or handling an issue, this is
precisely the kind of behaviour you want to encourage and
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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