As a leader, you are in a position few others find themselves in. You are accountable for the development and growth of your business – but you are also responsible for holding others to account, too.
Holding your people accountable for things is a crucial – and challenging – aspect of a leadership role, and perhaps the most important.
Unlike managers, leaders should not be transactional or motivated purely by financial gain. They do not see employees as tools that are part of a wider process. They see their employees as human beings and it is their job to develop them into better, more engaged team members.
This, of course, makes holding staff accountable for delivering things hard. It is not just a case of telling staff to do something and hoping it gets done. Leaders, by definition, are required to lead. So how to get the balance right so you ensure things get done without being officious?
It’s about vision
Defining your company’s vision of the future is a key way to drive accountability for tasks in your business. You need to lead by example, demonstrating your business’ core values every single day. This, in turn, filters down to your staff and helps them get them onboard. If they believe in you, they’ll believe in the company, and they’ll work hard to achieve the goals necessary to deliver that vision.
It’s about personal development
One way leaders differ from managers is that they see the completion of a task not as an end goal but, rather, an important stepping stone on the way to further professional development and fulfilment.
Leaders care – about their employees, about the company, about the company’s objectives, everything. Take an interest in your employees work – show that you are genuinely interested in what they are doing and want to achieve – and reap the benefits.
It’s about reward
Has anyone ever thanked you for a job well done? Feels great, doesn’t it? Yet how often do colleagues fail to thank and praise each other for stepping up to the plate? Rewarding workers for good work – even in the form of a simple ‘thank you’ – is a crucial method of holding people accountable. Remember, some people like to be thanked for the effort they have expended, irrespective of the outcome, whereas others only want to be recognised when they have successfully delivered something.
It seals, in a positive way, the culmination of tasks and makes members of your team feel valued and important. Vitally, it gives them the energy to take to the next task – full of enthusiasm for making it a success and knowing that their efforts will be acknowledged and appreciated.