One of the most powerful tools in a leader's toolkit is accountability. By fostering a culture of accountability, leaders can create an environment that promotes excellence, innovation, and ethical practices. However, it can be easy to say and demand but hard to actually implement yourself and amongst your team. At Rise Up For You, when we get the honor to work with leaders and organizations on accountability, we encourage these three vital steps!
Leading by Example: Embracing Personal Accountability Have you ever had a leader that spews expectations and must do's but they rarely model or display it themselves?✋🏽 yup I've been there too! Leadership begins with personal accountability. As a leader, your actions and decisions set the tone for your team. When you hold yourself accountable for your own performance, deadlines, and commitments, you set a powerful precedent for your team members to follow suit. So how do we do that? As a leader it's critical that we also have accountability buddies and a personal council that can keep us in check. If we don't model the example we can truly expect the majority of team to display accountability? Ask yourself, what can I do and where can I take ownership to both talk the talk and walk the walk. Remember hypocrisy creates resentment in the workplace. Let's avoid this at all cost!
Setting Clear Expectations, Consequences, and Goals Accountability thrives in an environment where expectations and goals are clearly defined. As a leader, it is crucial to communicate expectations and objectives with clarity and specificity. Keep in mind, clarity is in the eye of the receiver not the teller! Make sure that they truly understand what your exceptions are, what the goal is, and any potential consequences or rewards if action steps are or are not met. When employees understand what is expected of them, they are more likely to take ownership of their responsibilities and be accountable for their work. Clear goals also provide a benchmark for measuring progress and success, enabling employees to assess their own performance objectively. Employees will be less shocked and have more understanding during performance reviews if they know throughout the year where they've fallen short or exceeded benchmarks.
Building a Culture of Trust and Feedback Accountability flourishes in an atmosphere of trust and open communication. As a leader, foster an environment where employees feel safe to share their ideas, concerns, and mistakes without fear of judgment or reprisal. More importantly, encourage regular feedback sessions, both one-on-one and within the team, to provide constructive criticism, recognize achievements, and identify areas for improvement. The most common mistake we see, is leaders who are frustrated with their team but don't have a consistent cadence in providing feedback and celebrating accomplishments. If you're not sharing with your employees on a regular basis, most often then not, they think they're doing well! Open communication and feedback consistently is key!
Accountability is a vital ingredient for effective leadership in the workplace. The result is a motivated, engaged, and high-performing team that not only achieves exceptional results but also creates a positive and productive work environment. As a leader, harness the power of accountability and witness the transformative impact it has on your team and organizational success.
Want to learn more about how soft skills and leadership coaching, training, and development can support your team and company? Grab an informative call here with the Rise Up For You, SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP team.