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Accountability might seem like an easy quest but it’s one of the number one reasons American businesses fail to meet their goals. Recent studies show that business success is dependent on the degree of accountability shown in the leaders and staff. So here’s your challenge this year, if you think accountability is so easy start putting it to practice with some of the tips in this blog.
Accountability Starts With Yourself
What do your self-accountability practices look like? If they could use some work it’s important to start with making yourself better. Analyze how you can be more effective and responsible in your daily routines. Consider whether or not you are usually on top of tasks and deadlines and what responses you give when you fall through. The most important thing is to find out what would motivate you to be more accountable. This could be a small reward like going out to dinner, taking a half-day or day off, or many other incentives. Once you figure out your accountability guidelines start putting them into practice.
Spread Good Practices To Staff By Being An Example
Are you showing a good enough example that will inspire others to also strive to be accountable? If you took the initial advice and started your accountability journey with yourself, you should be off to a good start to spread the standard to others in your company. Employees often look to their leaders to gain a sense of their own expectations, values, and job requirements. So, if you are setting the stage for accountability systems your staff will be more open to adopting changes and may even begin to implement accountability standards for themselves and their teams without any probing. However, if you do have to step in try leaving room for individual autonomy as accountability will work differently for each person. Start with a few strategies and then expand when those are mastered. Just keep in mind that implementing accountability should be an ongoing process.
Make Strict Deadlines
How relaxed are you on deadlines? Being too relaxed is the fastest way to hurt your accountability efforts and business success. We’re not recommending you to become a tyrant but putting a little fire under missed deadlines is worth it. Consider seeing deadlines as a non-negotiable task, this will transform your mindset from thinking of deadlines as a maybe to a must-do. Two important things to remember when setting deadlines are to make sure they are achievable and that every person is different when it comes to task management. If the deadline is too presumptuous this might cause problems, so if it is not a priority always move the hard deadline to something more workable. This method allows flexibility while also creating strict deadlines, if it is done beforehand great and if it is done by the deadline it’s still a win for accountability. Lastly, when it comes to creating deadlines with others, consider two deadlines a soft deadline that reminds and prompts towards completing the task and a hard deadline that is required so it does not interfere with company effectiveness.
Set Up Accountability Checks And Balances
What happens when you or an employee fails to meet a deadline? If there is little incentive to accomplish a task and no consequences are in place it might be difficult to monitor accountability. Consider setting up a checks and balances system that outlines what happens when tasks, are completed or not. After this is established, it’s important to make sure the system is clearly communicated to your team so everyone knows what the expectations are. Lastly, follow through with the rewards and consequences in every pertinent situation.
Do you give your staff and yourself enough credit? Rewards often serve as a better motivator over consequences. So, when your business meets up to your goals don’t leave out the celebration. People typically remember when they were acknowledged and are inspired to have those feelings again. Ultimately, this leads to more success and accountability throughout your business as a whole.
Go Forth And Be Accountable!