Accountability is crucial to ensuring high per- formance within an organization. This isn’t groundbreaking news! So, why isn’t incentivizing accountability a core part of every business?
Studies have shown the organizations that thrive with
engaged and motivated employees have managers that
spend 10 percent to 20 percent of their time on professional and personal team-building activities.
These leaders regularly touch-base with their staff
by taking them out for happy hour, having a one-on-one discussion about career goals, or organizing
a team lunch. How can you make sure you’re being
an effective leader and keeping your employees
accountable for the work they’re assigned?
To drive high performance and accountability in an
organization, you’re probably already covering the basics:
1 Ensuring your employees are on time and present
for his/her full working hours/shift
2 Asking your employees to complete a designated
task within a reasonable timeframe that is
communicated in advance
3 Discussing any potential issues for why assigned
tasks will not be completed on time and create a
risk mitigation plan to avoid any surprises
DEFINING THE GAPS
Perhaps, as an employer, you already know and
enforce the basic principles of accountability and
want an even higher quality of work and accountability from your employees. First, define what specific
outcome(s) you want. What do you mean by wanting
“higher quality work” or “greater accountability?”
Teams work best when specific expectations are shared
and repeated. Start by putting together a list of current
responsibilities assigned to each staff member and identify
the gaps between current and future state (e.g. low sales
conversion rate, not meeting a membership target, etc.).
Once the gaps have been identified, put together specific
business goals at a granular level so you understand how
much more you’re asking from your employees.
REINFORCE THE MISSION
Whatever your organization’s mission, make sure
every employee at your organization has acknowledged
it (for example, through a signed agreement) to keep
them accountable to the standard of behavior expected
of them. Organizational core values and mission are
non-negotiable, and it’s critical that all employees
understand and respect your company’s core values.
Make it a point in an interview with a potential
employee to ask how they interpret your organization’s
mission to know if they’re going to be a good fit. If
employees are committed to your organization’s mission, they will be more willing to take on meaningful
work and accept responsibility for their mistakes.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
Start thinking about the possibility of incentive-based
pay (pay based on performance rather than time
worked). This type of pay can come in the form of
annual incentives, discretionary bonuses, spot cash
awards, commissions, or a profit-sharing plan. Depending on the size of your company and your short and
long-term goals, you should consider the benefits of a
spot cash award versus a more long-term pay incentive
like a profit-sharing plan. A small company may benefit
greater financially from doing a one-time spot award
for outstanding employee service rather than have to
share a percentage of their annual profit.
Incentivizing Accountability as an Industry Leader
BY SARAH WOLF