Virtual Or Real Accountability

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Accountability is upholding performance standards.  Regardless of whether you are face to face or leading virtually, accountability does not have to be a daunting mountain to climb.  Interestingly, I have observed many of my clients disregarding accountability due to the pandemic, social disruption and election realities.  I worry that this approach will not only impact business results, but more importantly erode trust.

Accountability at its core is about building trust.  Trust takes a lifetime to build and only a moment to destroy.  As a leader, building accountability is a multi-faceted strategy –

1.) Manager To Direct Reports – This is the most basic place to start. A collaborative effort where expectations, tracking commitments and providing feedback is clarified.  Typically, we see managers struggling with consistency with follow up and upholding performance standards.

Two resources you may find useful

a. Top 5 Standing or Zoom Session – In this activity, each person takes a turn and shares their top five priorities for the week.  The next week each person shares a status on their top five.  This builds team collaboration, transparency and focus. They key is to document priorities and accomplishments from week to week.

b. One To One –  In the 1:1 session end the meeting with “What are you committing to as a result of our conversation?” Document this commitment and follow up next time.  Consider using our 1:1 guide to support your sessions.

2.) Peer To Peer – This is actually the most challenging to build and maintain.  Asking your peer for a commitment and following up is difficult because we do not desire to be rejected.  Try asking “What can I count on you for with this project?” or “Here is the need I have related to this work.  Are you able to meet this expectation?”

3.) Process –  Process is about having clear metrics for performance and a plan to reach the outcomes you desire.  It is difficult to build accountability on teams without metrics and a clear strategy to reach business outcomes.

What other resources do you use to hold your team accountability whether in person or virtually?