Accountability Tips for Leaders

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Tips – April 2018
Accountability Tips for Leaders

In our March Blog we discussed the challenge that people managers have in holding people accountable. As a leader, it is important to realize that you are only as effective as your people.  This often means a change in mindset, recognizing that the time you invest in your people is time well spent.

So, as a leader, how do you invest your time effectively with your direct reports?

1) Be clear in your own mind about your vision and your priorities and share them with your people.
Your people need to know where they are headed and how what they are doing connects to the big picture. Research overwhelmingly affirms that people are motivated by a sense of purpose and meaning in their work.  When people are motivated you benefit from higher levels of discretionary effort, creative ideas and better quality.

2) Translate your vision and priorities into clear expectations for your direct reports.
Take time to discuss what you need to see – be as concrete as you can.  Include things like timelines and outcomes expected. Discuss milestones on the way and how you will handle obstacles.

3) Take time to check in regularly and assess progress, strategize as needed and/or reprioritize if necessary.
Put meetings on the calendar and keep them.  Nothing shows a lack of real commitment from a leader and demoralizes an employee as much as cancelling standing meetings because other more important meetings show up.

4) Know your employees work styles and needs.
How often you check in, and how much direction the employee needs depends on a number of factors including their experience level, their generation and their work style.  Some folks just need a goal and want to run with it.  Others are going to require more step by step planning. Discuss how they want to check in. Adapt to their style but always check in…even the most experienced or confident need to check in so that you and they are sure to be on the same page and there are no surprises.

5) Be sure discussions are summarized in writing, so everyone is clear about what has been agreed to.
Do it during the meeting so that if there are differences in what was said/heard, things can be corrected right away.  What a great way to save time!

6) Follow through on your own commitments.
If you have a role in moving things forward, get it done.  Once again, motivation ebbs rapidly when you as the leader are holding up progress.  Your follow-through and prompt replies to your staff demonstrate your commitment to priorities.