Sometimes promoting employee accountability can feel like you are spinning basketballs like the Harlem Globetrotters or juggling a set of clubs like a magician. Every workplace has its challenges and its accomplishments. In order to map out employee accountability everyone has to experience the same vision and understand their role in furthering that mission. There are key qualities you will need as the boss to help your team navigate their full potential. When they perform well you will all achieve.
Honesty: Expectations and directives have to be explicitly clear. Before you leave that teammate to get to it, make sure they fully understand and ask you some questions. If they are asking you questions that further the project, they understand you. Also make sure that everyone knows they can come to you for clarity. You need an open door with zero judgement for people to come to you for direction.
Integrity: Lead by example. That means that you too complete your tasks in the way that the team agreed on. While you are the boss you have to remember that you are part of a team and a good leader is also accountable to her people. If the project changes, send an email or call a meeting to discuss the changes. Treat your staff with respect.
Optimism: Recognition in small ways will make employees feel appreciated and needed. That in turn makes everyone feel happier, more creative and more patient. Everyone has moments where they shine. Send an email or write a small note letting that teammate know you noticed.
Patience: There will definitely be moments where an employee messes up, misunderstands or disregards a directive. These are the moments when you are needed most. Take the time to calmly discuss the problem, what led up to it and how all of you will keep it from happening again. This does not necessarily have to be a punitive moment. It can be a learning and growing moment.
Confidence: This quality ties into honesty because as the boss you have to make sure everyone is aware of how they are performing and how the team is doing on their project. It takes confidence to know that you will help them improve their weaknesses and continue to grow. You have to be the one who tells them how things are really going and lead the team to make the appropriate changes.
Humility: I know I just mentioned you need confidence right? You also need humility. You need to know and understand your employees and that means you have to listen. You need to understand how they would look at a problem in order to help them grow. You need to understand how they absorb new information and create a plan. The more you understand your employees the better you will all be.
You may think this is going to be easy, but it’s not, and that’s okay. You are leading a group of people who will make mistakes just like you. Be prepared to grow, to learn and to lead.