Do you wish your employees would be more accountable? Most supervisors do. I hear leaders complain all the time about the lack of accountability among their employees, and they consistently ask me for tips and tools for building accountability.
Do you want to know what I think is the best tool for building accountability? You already have one. It’s a mirror. Here’s why: When we are complaining about others not being accountable, we are doing exactly what we are complaining about. We are refusing to see what part we play in a situation.
When you are convinced that your employees aren’t taking enough responsibility for their work, actions or failures, I suggest you take a long look in the mirror. When a situation isn’t ideal or employees fail to meet your expectations, look in the mirror. When morale and motivation are low, look in the mirror. And when productivity slips … you get it … look in the mirror.
Think about your own actions and attitude, and figure out what role you play in the problem. Chances are, you must take at least some of the blame. That can be hard to swallow, but the best leaders recognize their own failures so that they can take steps to improve the situation going forward. In other words, acknowledge your own mistakes so that you can fix them. That’s the essence of being accountable, right?
While we are talking about mirrors, I have one more point: Your employees mirror your behavior and actions. If you point fingers every time you come up short, your employees will do the same thing. If you make excuses, your employees will also. However, if you admit when you are wrong, talk openly about your failures, explain how you have learned from your mistakes, and take blame when you deserve it, your employees will follow your lead.
In other words, building a culture of accountability starts with you.
Want more advice on accountability? Watch this short video “Helping People Accept Accountability” or order a digital download of the webinar “Accountability Conversations: Communication & Management Secrets That Will Increase Accountability, Get More Done & See Better Results.”