Frustrated at your employees failing to take ownership of their work? Want to increase your employee productivity? Personal accountability can be the key to accomplishing this. Alone, this is perhaps the single most powerful and most desired characteristic of a productive work environment. Yet, it is frequently the least understood. Despite their best efforts, many businesses struggle with creating and sustaining a company culture prioritizing accountability.
The Importance of Strong Leadership & How to Develop It
Strong and effective leadership is essential to employee productivity and accountability. According to a recent Gallup poll, a bad boss, manager, or supervisor is the number one reason U.S. workers quit a job. In the survey findings, the group summarized, “People leave managers not companies… in the end, turnover is mostly a manager issue.” Additionally, Gallup determined that poorly managed work groups average to be 50% less productive than well-managed groups.
Encourage your management team to hold themselves to a higher accountability and encourage the same accountability in the employees who report to them with the following suggestions:
1. Eliminate bad compensation policies.
As economists Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner put it in their popular books and podcasts, economics is the study of incentives. Incentives are about getting what you want or need by getting other people the thing they want or need. As a business owner, compensation policies and benefits packages are some of the biggest incentives you have to offer to staff. So stop giving them away to poor or failing performers and start rewarding only those behaviors producing excellent team results.
2. Make annual objective-setting a participatory event.
Accountability starts when people feel responsible for their actions. The best way to incite such responsibility is for them to set the objectives and the standards by which their performance is to be measured. Set aside time both quarterly and annually for your leadership team to participate in a positive objective-setting event. As a manager or leader, your purpose should be to hold your team accountable to their goals that they have set for themselves.
3. Forget ‘conflict avoidance’ policies.
Sure, it’s easier for managers to avoid facing conflicts, particularly when it’s interpersonal. However, having employees and managers who feel as though they are better just keeping their head down is a recipe for disaster. It’s better to train managers and other leadership how to face conflict and work to constructively resolve it. Holding themselves and other employees accountable for small conflicts readies them to do the same when it comes to the larger business projects and processes.
4. Recruit and set the example.
You can’t be what you don’t see; having managers who are already adept with personal irresponsibility offer a powerful lead-by-example message to the rest of your leadership team and the employees who report to them. Consider recruiting a manager or similar supervisor who specifically has the trait of strong self-accountability and promote this as a desired management infrastructure.
At Equal Parts Consulting we consistently see accountable leaders, lead to accountable employees. Both of which ultimately produce high productivity. To learn more about these key facets of business success and how you stand to benefit, contact us today.