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Easy Ways to Increase Accountability in Your Team

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By JF Harvey is Managing Director at Harvey Management Consulting

As a leader, your #1 job is to properly coach your team to meet the organization’s top goals.  The process is not a one-day event but rather a series of activities that must take place on a regular basis to gradually install a performance-driven culture. In other words, you need to transform your people’s mindset from an “activity-based” to a “result-based” way of doing things.

Managers, here are some tips you can use to achieve the desired results with your team and earn some well-deserved credit:

  • Active communication drives results.  Always be direct, honest, and respectful when you speak to your team.  Be specific with your requests and do not hesitate to explain why you need them to do something or to behave a certain way.  Make them understand the “purpose” of your requests. Repeating the same message over and over sends a clear message: We will achieve our goals as a team and this is not negotiable.
  • Share the goals of the organization.  The goals must be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based).
  • Put these goals up on the wall for everyone to be reminded of the game plan.
  • Notice that there is no E (e for easy) in SMART.
  • Ask your staff (individually) what they need from you to win the game. It could be training, equipment, technology, eliminating roadblocks, etc.
  • Each member of the team must have individual objectives.  This is the main driver for everyone’s accountability.
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities for each member of the team, including yours.
  • Provide regular feedback (individually and to the group).  Focus the conversation on what they need to keep doing, what they need to start doing, and what they need to stop doing for the remainder of the year (or until the next milestones) to reach the goals established at the outset.
  • Take advantage of the group meetings (monthly) to discuss progress and successes achieved to date, the challenges met and/or to overcome, and the next milestones to be reached before the next meeting.
  • Praise good work in public and re-align the slackers in private.
  • Express your gratitude – saying ‘Thank you’ is the easiest, coolest and the most beneficial way to do it.
  • DO NOT FORGET – Celebrate your success!!!  There is nothing like the taste of winning.

Last but not least, don’t take yourself seriously but rather take seriously what you and your team do.  Have fun in the process (nobody will get hurt). 

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