Extra Edition / Business Management

Make Accountability a Real Process

August 20, 2007
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
Bruce Tulgan

Accountability is the new watchword in just about every business. But what does it really mean? Accountability means having to answer for one's actions. The idea is compelling: if an employee knows that he will have to explain his actions to another person and that his actions will be rewarded or punished accordingly, typically that person will make an effort to act "better."

First, accountability works only as a management tool if the employee knows in advance that he will have to answer for his actions. Second, employees must trust and believe that there is a fair and accurate process for keeping track of their actions and tying their behavior to real consequences. That means:

• Spell out expectations in advance in vivid terms.

• Track employee performance every step of the way.

• Follow through with real consequences based on whether the employee’s actual performance meets those expectations or not.

You are the key to making accountability real. You are the keeper of the process:

• Make sure that your employees know that they will have to explain their actions to you up close and often.

• Focus on concrete actions within the direct control of the employee.

• Be the boss who is known for holding people accountable.

• Raise your standards.

• Take charge on day one … Today is always day one.

• Separate your role as the boss from your personal relationships.

• If you have no authority, use influence.

• If you don't have the expertise, act like a very shrewd client.

Sometimes all you have is the ability to ask people to explain or give an account of their actions. This type of interpersonal accountability in and of itself can be very powerful. That's one of the reasons it is so important to build relationships of trust and confidence with the people you manage. You need their trust and confidence most when they have to give answers to you. You want them to care about what you think of them. You want them to have a hard time looking you in the face and saying, after you've spelled out clearly what is expected of them, "No. I didn't do it."

Publication date: 08/20/2007

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

Recent Articles by Bruce Tulgan

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 MCAA Annual Convention

Scenes from the 2014 MCAA Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Podcasts

NEWSmakers: Julian Scadden

Training is an ongoing process. Julian will discuss how you can generate maximum return on time and energy invested training by following a three part process. Listen to this podcast to get expert tips on training, tracking and follow up. 

More Podcasts

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 04-21-14 cover

2014 April 21

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

SERVICE CALLS POLL

Which statement on service calls best applies to your business?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con