Five Must-Do’s for Building—and Sustaining—Leadership Accountability
As a leader, you hear the “accountability” buzzword all the time. Although you probably have a good idea about what it means, accountability sometimes gets misconstrued. Leaders get confused or sidetracked with strategies they think uphold accountability, but those very things can actually have the opposite effect.
For example, “hardworking” bosses may constantly check in and check up on their team members’ productivity and performance…but to a degree that’s actually obsessive, disempowering team members and all leadership alike. Consequently, employees don’t feel trusted and leaders spend too much time micromanaging instead of truly leading.
So what’s your role in building and sustaining an accountable culture?
- Put a dedicated accountability system in place. Our clients use the MAP Management System™ for one really great reason: It removes the burden of figuring out how to create, implement and sustain workplace accountability. Once everyone (including YOU!) is dialed in, aligned around and committed to it, it’s the system itself that holds people accountable. As a leader, you’ll love it—and your new-found freedom! Once the MAP Management System is up and running, you can shift to more leadership-centric activities.
- Develop your people. When you give your team the training and tools to actually be productive on the job, the rate and pace of them coming to you with questions, needs and problems drops dramatically. Empowered and armed with the right training and tools, they’re able to remain accountable to their goals. In fact, a 2021 LinkedIn Learning report shows upskilling and reskilling is the top priority for 59% of L&D pros. Where do you fall relative to this major trend (a major selling point for organizations seeking to retain and hire great people)?
- Delegate more responsibility, more often. When your people have a system, plus the right job tools and training, it’s up to you to stop being the regular go-to answer person or the kind of leader who micromanages. Both habits undermine accountability. Delegate instead and let your people come up with more solutions and trouble-shoot their ideas, fix the problems, and experience challenges and successes more often. True, you can’t hand over all the reigns, but you can likely delegate so much more.
- Give regular feedback. Take a two-pronged approach: regular feedback delivered in your MAP Management System meetings as well as real-time feedback, meaning emails or quick in-person chats to address performance roadblocks and accomplishments. Each should reinforce the other!
- Recognize, reinforce the wins. As humans, we can be super critical at times, a habit that can disempower and disenfranchise even the most positive and productive of your employees. Make a commitment to focus more on wins, less on failures. Sure, failures are great learning opportunities, which you need to use to coach and help your people. But make a point to focus on what’s going right and celebrating wins, and you’ll likely get more of them!
MAP knows how to build accountability leaders, craft empowered workplaces, and sustain breakthrough results. Whether you’re new to MAP or a former client, take that first step. Contact Us today!