Hold Me to Account or Else What?
Most business owners understand that the only way to ensure something gets done is to document what is expected, assign it to the right person and set a date as to when the task needs to be done. But what do you do when the task isn’t done? What are the consequences of this inaction?
Think back to when you were at school. When did you get your homework done? Were you super organised and got stuck in as soon as the work was assigned? Or did you do the work on the bus on the way to school the day it was due? What is important here is not when you did the homework but why you did it. Chances are high that the reason you did the work was because there was a clear consequence from the teacher if you didn’t – a few whacks with a stick or a detention – that’s what we call accountability and consequence.
Unfortunately, many business owners forget these lessons from school. Sure, we set the tasks and actions, assign them to people and, if we’re really good, set a due date. From there, so often, we forget to hold the person to account. Almost never is there a consequence for inaction for the person responsible for the task. The consequence for the business owner, however, is ultimately a poorer performing business.
Follow these rules to tighten up your accountability:
- Ensure at the outset that there is clear alignment about why the task is needed
- Issue to the right person and support
- Be specific and crystal clear with communications
- Request they repeat back instructions, so I know I was understood
- Set a time frame and request clarification task has been achieved
- Clear and same expectations including agreed consequences for inaction
- Regular short meetings to check in on progress and achievement
By the way, remember to walk the talk yourself – have someone independent hold you to account too.
‘Accountability is the glue that ties
commitment to the result’ – Bob Proctor
Implementing Accountability into my Business
Ask yourself the following questions and write down the answers so you can see it for yourself.
- What actions can I take to improve accountability and consequence for my team?
- What changes / improvements need to be made to my reporting systems?
- Who is the best person to hold me to account as a business owner?