How to Keep Employees Accountable Without Micromanaging

by Chris Rhatigan on May 16, 2016 11:00:00 AM

How to Keep Employees Accountable Without Micromanaging by TINYpulseIts a difficult tightrope to walk — you want to make sure everyone's contributing without constantly checking in and slowing down productivity. But it’s important to do. A Gallup poll found that disengaged employees shrugging off work accounted for up to $550 billion in losses a year! 

One of the primary trends we identified in our Employee Engagement Report is that accountability will be a major issue for employees going forward. In fact, employees listed colleagues failing to follow through as their biggest productivity concern.

Implementing accountability in your organization isn’t easy. Sometimes you might have to have uncomfortable conversations. But youll improve employee retention in the long-term if you prove to be the kind of leader the organization needs. Contrary to popular opinion, most employees want their organizations to hold them accountable for doing good work.

 

1. Demonstrate the value of responsibility 

How to Keep Employees Accountable Without Micromanaging by TINYpulseSOURCE: giphy.com

Companies have a tendency to reward star performers. This sometimes comes at the cost of overlooking the steady contributor who keeps everything together. The employee who is organized, knowledgeable, and always meets their deadlines needs some love too. Make sure that they get it. Provide rewards for loyalty and consistent performance.

 

2. Ensure everyone understands their role

With clear, well-defined positions and objectives, you’ll ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. Everyone on your team should know their responsibilities and the responsibilities of others. This will lead to peer-to-peer accountability, in which employees manage each other. We’re predicting that this will grow in the coming year as well. 

Of course, you also want to offer opportunities to be creative. Some include some flexibility in roles. This is a difficult balance to strike, but it’s necessary if you want to both be innovative and get things done.

 

3. Avoid penalties

How to Keep Employees Accountable Without Micromanaging by TINYpulseSOURCE: giphy.com

Typically employees don’t drop the ball because theyre lazy or unfocused. Make sure you clearly communicate what each team member needs to do. If they don’t do it, talk to them about why. After all, most employees will want to be part of a team that’s doing good work. Reserve penalties for only extreme cases of negligence in which the employee should be fired.

 

4. Offer consistent, actionable feedback

Provide employees with specific ideas about how they can do their jobs better. Focus on improvement and encouragement. If employees know you want to help them and the company, they’re more likely to take their job seriously. 

 

5. Provide data

Employees have a tendency to believe management is targeting them personally. By using data, you can demonstrate that it’s nothing personal — it’s just about doing business. Set reasonable targets and hold employees accountable for meeting them. Make this data transparent so employees know exactly where they’re at.

Pushing your team to maintain high standards is at the core of what it means to be a manager. It requires a nuanced touch. You have to be both tough and gracious to successfully run a business.

 

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This post was written by Chris Rhatigan

Chris Rhatigan is a freelance writer and editor. He is a former newspaper reporter for The New Haven Register and The Iowa City Press-Citizen. He enjoys playing old video games, studying (and trying to speak) Hindi, and walking his dog on the local trails. He lives in India.