Six C’s for Holding Others Accountable

In organizations today, everyone seems s to be having problems holding others accountable for individual job performance or group work processes.  Supervisors, managers and other leaders wonder how they can make their employees more accountable for finishing projects on-time or improving their overall job performance.  Teams wonder how they can make that certain team member more willing to take responsibility for their actions or lack thereof.  Below are six things to consider to help get others to be more accountable.

Six C’s for Holding Others Accountable:
  1. Communicate expectations in advance.  This means what the goals and deliverables (finished product, service, or assignment) are and when they should be completed (phases and milestones help make it easier to meet final deadlines).  Write these expectations down so you can track progress against what you agree to later on.
  2. Connect often to check progress and determine if additional resources or information is needed..  If you established phases and milestone deliverables early on, then both parties know when to verify if all is running smoothly or if additional help or training is necessary.
  3. Critique based on facts not feelings.  Give honest feedback, whether it is praise for a job well done or expressing a need for improvement.  Be specific about what was done right or wrong and why.  What goals were met or deadline missed?  Do not wait until the end of the project or assignment – be respectful of others by doing this as needed when connecting and coaching.
  4. Coach as needed to close gaps in understanding or knowledge to keep things moving along.  If leaders are not coaching, then their team members cannot become winners.  Accountability must go both ways, otherwise things will go nowhere and little will get done.
  5. Consequences for not meeting expectations should be explained up front and reinforced.  If not doing a job on-time and correctly will cost the company something, the person(s) being assigned the work need to know this.  They are interested in what rewards they may personal get, but they also need to know how failure will personally affect them and their job(s).
  6. Commitment will be achieved only if initial communication and continued support happens.  Clear expectations and follow-though are keys to everyone understanding their responsibilities and increasing individual/team credibility for actions. 

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