- Have you ever wondered how do we hold each other accountable?
- Can it be less difficult?
In case you are familiar with DiSC, you may expect an individual with a strong S-style to have a tough time confronting others. But irrespective of our styles, we all find it difficult at times to confront others.
Accountability is the act of being responsible and having the authority to act. It also entails the natural and logical consequences for the outcome of those actions or inactions. Just as a team needs to be accountable, so should be every team member. It is not just the team leader’s responsibility to hold another team member accountable it is, in fact, a shared responsibility.
Here’s how you can hold your team members accountable:
- Ensure that the goals are clearly laid out. Is your team aware of why it exists in the first place? Is every member of your team capable of expressing the team’s goal/goals? Have you taken the initiative to share a vision of the outcome that you wish to achieve? Strong leaders usually share a strong vision with their teams and they also do all that is necessary to align the vision and the team. It is important that your team’s goals need to align with your organization as well. While this may sound quite obvious, team get off track quite easily if you take it for granted.
- Have clarity regarding the standards. Does every individual in your team have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities as well as those of others in the team? Have you ensured to set some ground rules for your team? Every team has its own culture. But is this the culture that you wish? Is the prevailing team culture supportive of all team members? In case your team members have taken an Everything DiSC assessment, you may wish to review and discuss the group culture report. In case a team member is feeling marginal to the rest of the team, it may be contributing to his or her poor performance.
- Do your team members understand the outcome of not taking responsibility?
- Do you think you need to review the communication standards within the team?
- Do you think the roles and standards are clear to the entire team?
- You must ensure that you agree on who would be ultimately accountable for the results of your team. In some organizations, it is the responsibility of the entire team, while in others it is just the leader.
- Conduct regular check-ins. You must schedule regular progress reviews of your team as well as that of the individual team members. Use this as an opportunity to celebrate achievements and also to identify and resolve issues. From time to time, it is a good idea to analyze the performance data available. Teams which are healthy foster a climate where every team member has the liberty to speak freely and admit mistakes. You must ensure to commit to the five whys and be proactive to dig into problems and seek solutions as a team.
- Address any kind of slacking. In case you have set clear standards for your team, you will come to know when someone does not meet them. You must try to address this as a group. Get to the root of the problem and figure out if there is a lack of commitment, understanding, or trust. Also, try to find out if it is processed problem or a people problem. While you may want to avoid direct blame and punishment, it is equally significant that everyone understands the consequences of not meeting the standards.
- Build commitment and trust. Accountability is one of the facets of a cohesive team. It is built on the foundation of trust and commitment from each and every member of a team.