As we rapidly approach the end of this year, you may be asking, “How do I prevent my team or organization from losing momentum?”
It might be time to look in the mirror and assess what you’re doing to create a culture of accountability.
In other words, it may be time for an accountability check-up. Not the kind where you dole out feedback, or express frustration as your team apparently begins to lose gas. Rather, the kind where you check in, dig in, and make sure your people are on the same page.
One of the VERY first steps to creating a culture of accountability is to co-create and set clear and actionable expectations.
People cannot agree to anything they’re not CLEAR about. And yet, they do it all the time.
This is what creates the frustration born out of lack of accountability. If you don’t take the right amount of time to clarify the intended outcome, you may well find yourself disappointed with the results you get – and, I hate to say it, but that’s on you.
It’s your responsibility to communicate clear expectations in a way that your people can understand and run with. That’s your job – and your team wants to do a good job, contribute, and be successful. When they are clear about what success looks like, and what success means to them, they will deliver.
Take the time you need to achieve true understanding
When you communicate desired outcomes based on the business results you’d like to see, make sure your people get it. To ascertain this, ask them to repeat back to you the expectation before you move on to the next thing.
Do they understand what steps might be needed to create success?
Do they have the necessary resources to get the job done?
Are they clear about the check-in and inspection process?
Have they agreed to the outcome?
Remember, communication is a two-way street.
Here are some suggestions to improve your two-way communication:
- Communicate what success looks like (onboarding, new job assignment, department goal, the vision)
- Probe for understanding (does the team member fully understand the expectation? If not, clarify again)
- Communicate any specific milestones that must be met, as well as any pertinent timelines
- Ask how your team member might go about achieving the expectation, in order to better understand how they think
- Ask questions that enable you to brainstorm possible steps together (be willing to see things from their perspective, rather than simply prescribing what you would do)
- Offer resources to support them
- Offer encouragement and your belief that the expectation will be executed well
- Schedule appropriate check-ins or set agreed upon deadlines for checking progress
Setting expectations is the quickest way to achieve the success you want, but often those expectations are implicit – it’s time to get them out into the open.
If you need more help with this, and are ready to transform your organizational culture in order to achieve even better results in 2022, I offer both a 6-month consulting program, as well as leadership-development workshops that will guide and support you and your team to address your most pressing people problems.
Book a 30-minute, no-obligation strategy session today to learn more.