Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Simple Ways to Improve Accountability

I had this article published this week in Rochester’s Democrat & Chronicle. Thought I’d share it here. Your experience and comments are welcome.

. . . . . Simple Ways to Improve Accountability by Donna Rawady, published in Democrat & Chronicle, Tues, March 10, 2015

Lack of accountability is one of the most prevalent obstacles to success and common sources of frustration in the workplace. Although industries and work environments may vary widely, human nature and workplace behaviors remain consistent when accountability is lacking.

Some people find it frustrating that co-workers fail to carry their weight on a team, even after they’ve agreed to do so. Others are upset with managers who fail to enforce accountability with their employees. Leaders and managers are frustrated because their direct reports after repeated performance discussions — continue to fall short of expected deliverables. And teams find themselves frustrated with slow to no progress towards brilliant solutions discussed during meetings.

Applying these simple tactical tools is guaranteed to increase accountability and desired results in any one of the above scenarios:

– At the onset of a project or assignment, work together to chunk ideas down into small, doable, and specific actions.

– Assign actions to a specific individual or team.

– Agree on and set specific target dates for each action.

– Together, re-check the actions assigned — and adjust if necessary — to ensure that actions are non-arguable. (i.e., Identify more new prospects is arguable. Identify and obtain contact information for 3 new prospects by the end of the day Friday, is non-arguable.)

– Email a recap of agreed upon actions and target dates, or publish and distribute a documented project plan among a team, listing agreed upon actions, who is responsible for each, and when each action is due to be completed.

– Schedule a follow-up meeting or conversation to review the action items and progress and then repeat the above process as you continue with the project or plan.



  Stephanie Reh wrote @

Amen! Arguably, accountability is both the cause of (when it is lacking) and the solution to (when it is present) so many problems! This post sheds light on the reality that even the most well-intentioned people benefit from built-in accountability checkpoints like follow-up meetings. Beyond that, the power of accountability weakens when consequences are not established and enforced, so it is important to have the courage to confront non-compliance constructively.

  donnarawadyblog wrote @

Thanks for your comments, Stephanie!

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