Thursday, February 9, 2017

Bridging the Gaps of Accountability

Accountability can be harnessed via motivating your employees to achieve high than expected results and build a culture of learning, trust, and professionalism.
Digital transformation is all about shaping highly performing and highly innovative organizations. Lack of accountability is often one of the biggest obstacles to getting things done, or cause change inertia. Because people don’t feel “safe,” or run away from accountability because they had a personal experience or they have observed others being treated poorly or unfairly when being held accountable for results. So, how to bridge the accountability gaps and improve the business manageability to encourage responsible communication, decision-making, and action, with the intention to build on morale and real productivity? In detail, how do you drive workforce performance, whilst bridging gaps, and generating accountability for that performance?

Accountability needs a safe environment: That starts with leaders at the top. Behaving accountable is the result of a culture with values that need to be organized and nurtured. It is not uncommon to confuse accountability with blame. They are actually opposites. Shared accountability or collective accountability involves shared ownership, empathetic communication, the true measure of accountability is about resilience. It is determined not by whether someone or a team makes a mistake or not, but on how quickly they can recover so that customers, teammates, and others aren't negatively affected by the breakdown. You will be held accountable" is on the face of it, not a bad thing, you have the freedom to do whatever needs to be done, and the responsibility to ensure you do your best to bring about a good outcome. If "accountability" has bad connotations, it is because there is blame attached and other consequences. The leaders and managers should be more interested in finding "causes," not interested in assigning blame, in order to build a culture of accountability.

Behaving in a trustworthy manner is crucial: Using the forces of respect for every employee, versus fear and punishment. Belief in the high value of both team and each team member, profits, and performance. This is the long view and takes some courage and faith to develop, but it is worth the effort, and it ultimately releases the highest potential of each employee. Allow for personal traits that will vary both among the person who delegates and the person delegated to. There are also some structural issues with accountability. If one is to hold another accountable (peer or subordinate) for achieving some result, there is a set of conditions that must be fulfilled in advance on the "receiver" side. Among them, that person must be reasonably known to possess the skill/talent needed; she or he is provided with the tools and resources necessary to succeed.

Designing a performance management system that enforces accountability: A professional is responsible for his/her actions. He/she should be accountable to his/her company, to himself/herself or his/her conscience. It seems simple, but it has many different additional advantages encouraging knowledge transfer within the team, engagement, and so on. One of the "obstacles" is not having the same rules for accountability applying everywhere. Accountability goes hand in hand with the delegation of authority or power. Accountability is part of personal integrity. If you ensure the individuals have the autonomy within their tasks or projects you will be able to address performance on an equal partnership base.

Digital organizations are flatter, with an “every individual as a stakeholder” culture, it is imperative to close the accountability gap through improving cross-functional collaboration, open door listening, transparency ("we have a problem to solve together") and mutual sharing in successes, the performance accountability can be harnessed via motivating your employees to achieve high than expected result and build the culture of learning, trust, and professionalism.


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