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How to hold your team accountable

As a leader, creating a plan to hold your employees accountable is critical. With the rise in hybrid teams, this can make things trickier and slip through the cracks.

How do we ensure we all have the same business goals and be accountable to achieve them?

This 6-step guide aims to support your leadership development by providing actionable steps (and to reduce any discomfort along the way!)


1.Clarify Expectations

Be clear about what you expect. Discuss the outcome you’re looking for and how you will measure the success. This needs to be a collaborative process between the leader and the employee.

Depending on the capability of the individual you may provide further guidance. If they are quite capable, you may empower them to choose their pathway to best achieve the outcome.

TIP: Ask your team member “so are we both clear, what are the key outcomes you are looking to achieve?” so that they can articulate in their own words what it is they are going to do and how they are going to achieve it.

2. Capability

It is difficult to hold someone accountable if they don’t have the skills to perform the activity. Is the gap the individual's skill or is it their will (motivation)?

Here is a checklist of questions to support your employee, to help assess their skill level:

  • What are the skills and strengths of my team member?

  • What skills does the individual need to have to deliver on expectations?

  • What support, resources or tools will they need to be successful?

  • If the person does not have what’s necessary, can they learn these skills?

  • If so, what’s the plan? (i.e. knowledge transfer, shadowing, training)

3. Measures of success

When setting up expectations, be clear on how and when you will check-in. Set up short and sharp meetings to check progress on milestones.

Your employees need to receive regular individual feedback on how they are tracking. Create an environment where your team feels comfortable asking for help and support.

The OKR model (Objectives and Key Results) can be an effective goal-setting framework. It will help you put in place your plan and create a cycle to set, align and achieve those goals.

4. Checking in

Consistent individual and team catch-ups need to reinforce the team goals. Provide clear feedback on progress and assist with any barriers and obstacles. Working as a team to problem-solve issues will encourage innovation, collaboration, and trust.

5. Clear feedback

Honest, open, ongoing feedback is critical. If expectations, capability, and clear measures are set, then feedback can be fact-based. It will also be easier to deliver to your team member. It is important to create a feedback culture.

TIP: It is more helpful to be specific and

constructive than it is to be nice.

6. Clear consequences

If you have followed the first 5 steps, you have likely provided clarity to support the employee. The outcome may be one of the below:

Reinforce: Praise publicly and acknowledge their hard work. Over time this may lead to a promotion or pay rise.

Redo: If work is not up to the standards you expect, provide feedback and ask the employee to try again.

Release: If they are not the right fit for the role you have two options. You can discuss a role that would better suit their strengths and support them, or let them go.

. . .

There should be consistent plans to addressing underperformance within the team. This aligns with the organisational values and expectations of the role. The right balance between positive and constructive feedback will assist in managing performance.

Accountability is a core component of building confidence in our Thriving Leaders Program.

This leadership course focuses on empowering first-time leaders to support a high-performing team. Over 8-weeks, I run 2-hour group sessions in the format of virtual group coaching. It is interactive, collaborative and provides a space to share experiences and learn. Between sessions participants, complete activities, curated readings, and videos to embed learnings.

Join the Thriving Leaders Program

For more information, check out Thriving Leaders Program OR Book a 15 minute call


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