Reluctance from your team members to take charge or make decisions can be frustrating. A culture of personal accountability is one in which employees possess the freedom to make appropriate choices and the courage to take ownership. It is the most potent and most desired, but least understood characteristic of a successful workplace. Accountability is something we often try to mandate. That doesn’t work because accountability is not a process or a tool; you can’t force someone to be accountable! What you can do is enable your employees. Give them the tools they need to accomplish their tasks and succeed at their job. When you do this, employees will naturally develop a mentality that benefits your team and your organization. Here are three ways to put this in practice:
Ask for Feedback and Input on Projects and Goals
Have you ever heard one of your employees say: “I would like to take ownership of my work but I feel I don’t have that authority”? Allow your team members some power by encouraging them to share their opinions on decisions that affect their department. Don’t stop there though. Aks for input on decisions that affect your whole organization. Every employee can contribute to the success of the organization in a meaningful way. You won’t be able to act upon every opinion and idea an employee submits, but make sure your employees are genuinely being heard. It goes a long way toward enhancing relationships, fostering collaboration and heightening engagement.
Delegate Decision-Making to Your Employees
There are some decisions your employees shouldn’t (or you wouldn’t want them to) make. However, many times your employee already knows the appropriate thing to do when they ask for your advice. If you didn’t realize it yet, remember that they are just seeking validation. Too often we misinterpret this and take over the decision-making. Instead, ask your employee what they would do. If they have an answer and it works, tell them to do it. You can empower the employee even more by adding that, in a similar circumstance, they don’t have to ask you next time.
Have a Plan
In a healthy work environment, accountability is a must. Make sure that everyone has a clear understanding of key objectives. Ideally, your people have input when you decide what those key objectives are going to be. As the supervisor, you can set the roadmap, the guidelines for your team. Then, ask what everyone’s performance objectives should be for the next quarter to meet your team’s goals. Ask how they deliver and contribute in the next three months and how you, the supervisor, will know they’re getting things done. Employees aren’t going to feel compelled to accomplish something unless they are emotionally engaged.
As always, remember that YOU are the role model! Looking for more advice to bring your team closer together? Read our blog on 7 Practices that Turn a Group into a Team or 9 Strategies That Help You Create a Harmonious Team.
If you are interested in hosting a training event around this topic, we offer half-day Professional Maturity Training, two-day Supervisor Boot Camps to bolster leadership and coaching skills, or in-depth company culture consulting services!