Managers must walk the line between encouraging their employees and keeping them accountable. It’s a delicate balance and one that has dire consequences if navigated poorly. Unhappy employees are the biggest cause of dips in company productivity, loss of loyalty, and ultimately revenue loss. When it comes to organizational morale the old adage applies; one unhappy employee can spoil the whole bunch.
How does one hold their employees accountable while keeping the office in harmony? Read on to learn how to hold people accountable while maintaining office peace.
1. Have Crystal Clear Expectations
Employees can’t be responsible for what they don’t know. Make sure expectations are perfectly understood from day one. If the Sales Department needs to hit 25 percent of their yearly goal by March, the Sales Director should hold a meeting some months in advance.
At this gathering, managers should address what needs to be done and how it will be accomplished. By laying out what the company expects and when they expect it all employees will be on the same page.
2. Announce that There Would Be Consequences
The counterpart to having clear expectations is to have and enforce defined consequences. All employees responsible for the outcome of a project or goal must understand what will happen if their objectives are not met. This transparent structure is going to show you how to hold people accountable.
Good managers will be upfront with their teams about the good, the bad, and the ugly. They should be understanding and encouraging in the first place. However, if employees don’t experience any repercussions to their lack of results, they won’t strive for the better.
3. Understand the Limitations of Team Members
Not everyone will be good at everything. Maybe Jim from Marketing is excellent at networking but terrible when it comes to time management activities. Maybe Suzy is a numbers whiz who chokes up in stressful situations.
Learn the limitations and strengths of team players. Afterwards, figure out ways to use them strategically so that their talents shine and their weaknesses are suppressed. This will yield double results in increasing morale and improving team performance. Team members will be more accountable for their actions when put in situations where they perform best.
4. Set SMART Goals
Set SMART (Strategic, Measurable, Agreed-Upon, Realistic, and Time-Based) goals to understand how to hold people accountable. This practice works in tandem with both setting clear expectations and defining consequences. It outlines each goal for your team allowing them to see a crystal clear picture of what needs to get done.
The team is held accountable because big goals are broken down into smaller, manageable chunks. The team will always be working towards something and hitting little wins on the way to bigger wins. They will be focused, and morale will be higher because of the constant boost they’re getting from their small daily successes.
5. Have an Open Door Policy
If managers are inaccessible, employees feel impotent and afraid to approach them with things that might be going wrong. By employing an open door policy (and meaning it!) managers can remove a barrier and invite discourse and discussion.
Many offices have even adopted massive open working areas where team members of all levels work together. Open door policies foster a sense of camaraderie and the idea that “we’re all in this together.”
6. Avoid Anger and Micromanagement
The fact is that employees hate micromanagement. There are not many other management styles that strike as much loathing in the hearts of team members than a boss breathing over their shoulder. Micromanagement and anger should be avoided at all costs. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t learn how to hold people accountable.
Take ten seconds to breathe deeply before chastising a team member and never do it in front of other employees. When managers can show mastery of their emotions, team members will find them more trustworthy and approachable.
7.Ask Questions and Give Them What They Need
Often managers have a birds-eye view of a project or initiative. They have very little understanding of what’s happening on the ground and might not know what their people need to succeed. Often, employees will be reluctant to ask for help because they fear to look as incompetent.
You can take some of the stress away. Ask them questions and solicit feedback, then make sure to give them what they need. Regularly circling back to team members will show that their input is valued, their needs are heard, and that their contribution to the project is vital.
8. Give Them Performance-Based Incentives that Matter
Avoid setting symbolic or meaningless incentives for good work. Employees want to be rewarded with assets that matter to them. Managers should regularly check their team’s pulse in order to make sure that everything is moving smoothly and that morale and productivity are high.
During these check-ins, it’s advisable to ask employees what they want to see as a reward. Extra vacation days? More perks? Whatever it is, give your team incentives that matter to them and watch their productivity rise.
9. Give Them Ownership
Ownership or pride in one’s work has been largely linked to increased accountability. With this research in mind, you can figure out how to hold people accountable. Employees will naturally gravitate towards productivity if they feel as if they’re part of something big and important. Let the team know that their voices are valued, being heard, and being listened to. Give them creative license where it makes sense.
10. Don’t Play Favorites
This seems like a no-brainer. However, an astounding number of managers still play favorites with their employees. Even if a manager thinks he or she is hiding their preferences, it’s always obvious, and it kills morale.
If team members feel like they’re never going to be good enough, there isn’t much incentive to try their hardest. As a result, holding them accountable becomes near impossible. Therefore, you should strive to leave your prejudices home. Instead, view your team members as valuable assets to your business.
By following these simple ten steps, managers will learn how to hold people accountable, bring out their best, get them truly excited about their work, and improve overall morale. Do you know someone who could inject a little more harmony into their workplace? Make sure to like and share this post!