How to boost employee accountability without being “that manager”

Equipos Responsables Sin Micromanagement

How to boost employee accountability without being “that manager”

Being a manager is not an easy task. The development of projects depends on you: if they are not carried out, and if results are not achieved, the business stops working. That is why it is so important to have an accountable team that takes care of the work in an optimal and efficient way without having to constantly remember, supervise and correct all the tasks that must be done to reach the deadlines on time. 

But how can we get a self-sufficient team? How can we get teams to commit to their responsibilities? 

Down below we will tell you how to make it possible by following 6 tips that every good leader should put into practice. 

Get an Accountable Team without being a Micromanager

  1. Set goals clear

You meet with your collaborators to explain the week’s work and what the results should be. Everything seems correct, but the delivery date arrives and there are still things to do, what has been done must be corrected and an atmosphere of discomfort and dissatisfaction appears both on you and your team. 

This is a situation that is often seen in many companies in any sector and, in most cases, it happens for a reason: you have clear objectives and you believe that your team does too. 

But the reality is very different: according to a study published by the consulting firm Gallup, only 50% of employees are clear about what is expected of them.  

The logic is self-explanatory: if employees don’t know what they should do, how are they going to be accountable? 

Accountability has a lot to do with clarity and understanding. If your team has clear goals, it will be much easier for them to achieve them. 

In this sense, your job as a leader is not about setting goals, but communicating them through a powerful, clear and easy-to-understand message. 

And don’t be afraid to be repetitive! Repeat the message as many times as necessary to ensure that everyone on board knows what to do. 

  1. Get information about progress and progress without being intrusive

As a leader, it is normal to want to know how our team’s work is progressing, especially if there is an important matter. 

However, asking about the status of tasks every day is not only overwhelming for your collaborators, it’s also counterproductive for the progress itself: workflow is interrupted, employees lose focus and work is delayed. 

In the end, what you cause is that employees spend more time responding to your requirements than doing their own work, just the opposite of what you are looking for. 

So, what is the best solution to know that things are being done without falling into micromanagement? 

Providing a space where the team can update the status of the projects within a pre-established timeframe, but at their own pace. Trello or Slack are two perfect tools for this purpose. 

On these platforms, employees can update all their progress without consuming extra time to explain what they are doing and what they are focusing on. 

  1. Stop pushing and teach your team to prioritize

Fear doesn’t get anything good. This is well known to Edward Deci, who spents 20 years investigating the effects of pressure exerted on employees when moving them to fulfill their tasks. The result: poor performance, poor quality results, employees do not deep inside into what they doing (so there is no learning that allows them to grow as professionals) and, very importantly, they stop enjoying their work, get stressed and burned. 

Deadlines are important. You know it, but so does your team. Your job, as we have already mentioned before, is to make the objectives and the timetable clear. Then you have to let your team do their job. 

Now, there may be times when really, due to volume or external circumstances, you can see that the delivery date is approaching and there is nothing to present. 

What to do in these cases? Teach them to prioritize. 

If you fear that your team will not be able to do a job on time, eliminate everything that is not important and does not add value to the final result. 

Remember that the figure of the manager must support the employees and that, among other things, means offering solutions and not problems. And pressure is a problem you can avoid. 

  1. Give your team a reason to work.

According to Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory, salary is a hygienic factor: if it is optimal, it prevents dissatisfaction; if it is not, it provokes it. Therefore, salary is not a reason why we should expect accountable employees. 

If we want to motivate our team to give the best of themselves, we must give them a much more powerful reason than money: make it clear to them what their role is within the organization and the project to carry out the company’s mission. 

But things should not just stop there. As a leader, one of your jobs is to instill the company’s philosophy and business vision. Do your employees know how your organization helps the community? What is the positive impact it has on the industry and the economy? 

In this sense, if employees know that they are a fundamental part of the well-being of society, it is more likely that they will give 100% in their working hours thanks to the effect of intrinsic motivation. 

  1. Embrace the mistakes

No one is born knowing. In your career as a professional, you have made (and surely you will still make) many mistakes that have served as a lesson to you. 

In front of problems and great challenges, you may be tempted to do things by yourself. And, even, that action may lead you to think that you are lending a hand to your collaborators. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

What you are actually doing is underestimating the ability of your employees and taking away the responsibility of doing their job, overcoming challenges, fueling motvation and growing professionally. 

What if they’re take wrong decissions? In that case, the world goes on. Mistakes are a powerful source of learning and, far from reprimanding those who fail, you must support them and encourage them to keep trying. 

  1. Less management and more trusting

You may have realized that managing a team to be accountable has nothing to do with being “that” type of manager always micromanaging. Rather, quite the opposite: you must show trust. Trusting in yours is the key and must be inherent in any manager position. 

Continuous feedback is very important to ensure that your team is clear about their responsibilities and duties, what your expectations are and what is expected of each employee. 

Only then will your employees have all the information they need to start taking on more responsibility, become self-sufficient and improve their performance. 

If you want to know if you exercise leadership effectively, you can use a pulse survey. 

In Teams Insights you have available a set of questions ready to be launched and start collecting the information you need to become the best manager that your team needs, the one that helps them expand their skills and allows them to have the necessary autonomy to become an accountable high-performance team. 

Do you want to start asking your employees about your manager skills? Try a Demo! 💻