Increase Employee Morale and Efficiency by Fostering Accountability in the Workplace
Does your small business hold employees (and upper management) accountable, and does your company culture promote accountability? Some research suggests that up to 40 percent of all U.S. employees aren’t held accountable for their results. This not only affects an organization’s profits, but can also lead to lower employee morale and decreased productivity.
It’s important to remember that a good operation doesn’t just assign blame and haphazardly fire employees when they make mistakes. Instead, companies with effective accountability create an environment where employees can build each other up, take on increasingly difficult responsibilities, make decisions quickly, and have pride in their work. This is all great news for your business because it can translate into higher sales and lower turnover.
Clearly communicate with your employees
The first step toward creating effective accountability in your organization is to communicate with your employees. After all, they need to know exactly what is expected of them in order to perform to your expectations.
Explain the company’s values and goals so that employees know what they’re working toward. Be sure that each employee understands his or her job description and all of their major responsibilities. It’s best to capture all of this information in writing to ensure that each team member knows exactly how their job performance will be measured. Having easy-to-follow instructions and quantifiable goals will make the next step easier, too.
Give staff members regular feedback
Even if your employees share the company’s vision and know exactly what they’re supposed to be doing, they still crave feedback. Feedback lets employees gauge whether they’re on the right track and even the highest performers want to know that their work is appreciated.
You should strive to provide both positive and negative feedback, but focus on your delivery of any constructive criticism. Never lecture, and try to shift attention toward the project or behavior without making it overtly personal.
Determine what motivates individual employees
You already know that each of your employees has their own unique personality, but have you thought about what motivates each of them individually? Every person is driven by different motivating factors. As a leader, it’s your job to figure out what motivates each of your employees. Some people are satisfied with a simple “Good job, I really appreciate your work,” while others may be more motivated by a work-sponsored lunch or office-wide recognition.
Determining what motivates your staff is an extremely useful tool when it comes to creating accountability in the workplace. Don’t be afraid to get creative with how you motivate staff members, either. If you want your company to be innovative, it’s likely that employees will appreciate innovation from within, and will act accordingly.
Lead by example
Finally, the leaders of a business absolutely must lead by example if they want to foster accountability in their organizations. Employees want to see that their boss is being held to the same high standards that they are. This means following through on any promises you make, taking ownership of your mistakes, and being open to receiving feedback.