Last week we began discussing how Accountability Impacts Your Success.
How can you ensure that you are holding your people accountable for results that matter? You can follow the lead set by Kyra, a senior manager I coached who was promoted to director and eventually to a C Suite position. She learned that to be successful she created a vision and clearly communicated it to all her direct reports and ensured they carried the message through her whole span of control. She first focused on building her executive presence, so she communicated clearly, accurately and professionally. She found many ways to engage with her team members, by rounding, attending huddles, staff meetings, using memos on bulletin boards, emails and texts to meet the communication needs of all team members. In addition, she clearly communicated her expectations of all the employees and what everyone needed to do for her team and the organization to “win.” Clear expectations and goals move people in the right direction. Do your team members understand the benefits of what happens when they do the right thing? Do they understand how you need things done and by when? Do they understand the implications when they are not accountable and how it impacts the team, organization, patient or customer? It’s your job to connect those dots. Why is it important for people to be accountable? What benefits derive when you hold employees and leaders accountable to do the job they were hired them to do? People work harder when they can see how what they do ties to the greater goals.
I recently met with an executive team of a healthcare organization that had undergone significant growth over the preceding three years. With the growth, Jennifer was concerned that many of the executives were complaining about lack of focus. She wanted to change their culture. They recognized that as an executive team they had a hard time holding each other and their direct reports accountable. Plans and goals changed frequently. As a result, it was fostering mistrust, people were complaining about lack of clarity, no focus and turnover was sky high. We decided to conduct a strategic planning retreat to focus on the upcoming year and then use a team coaching approach to hold the executives accountable to creating focus on a few critical goals. In weekly meetings the executives are driving to get clear on their goals and immediate priorities. What should they focus on and what is less urgent? With this clarity they can determine how best to communicate the vital goals to their teams and focus on results. There will be voluntary and involuntary turnover as the organization moves to a culture of accountability. People are attracted to an organization with a strong mission, clear goals and a sense of how they fit in to make a difference. One of the organization’s big changes will involve their selection and onboarding process to choose those who are a better fit with the organization’s values and goals. Accountability starts with making the right hiring, onboarding and training decisions. Then it is strengthened with consistent messaging and expectations to ensure compliance and goal achievement. Accountability impacts your success. Holding yourself and others accountable may not be easy, but it generates results that are worth celebrating.