Archive for August 2013
It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are held accountable.
Every business is a brand, whether yours is good or bad is up to you. Successful entrepreneurs know that their business will flourish when they’re accountable. They take the time to not just ‘get the job done’ but to get it don ‘right’. When leaders take responsibility of their projects and processes, they create an environment that demands accountability.
Customers flock to work with businesses that consistently go above and beyond (everyday). An accountable business doesn’t just happen overnight, but the foundation must be put in place from the start and carried throughout the life of business relationships. Here are three key ways to build an environment of accountability in your business.
1. Take Ownership
Establishing clear roles and processes removes confusion in the work place. Support the input of your team. Make sure they have the resources, knowledge and assistance they need to successfully complete projects. Obligate your team to participate in the solution process. Ask them to give and receive feedback on various aspects of the business. For your business to be accountable, members must be comfortable taking on new roles and increasing their skills. This builds confidence and ownership of assigned tasks.
Plan for progress: Have a detailed growth plan for every team member. Specify what their career goals are and what steps they will need to take to obtain it.
Measure progress: Keep detailed track of your team member’s progress. Have regular progress meetings that applaud the team’s commitments but speak to areas where they are lacking as well.
2. Establish Core Values
When businesses consistently fall short of promises, it’s saying to the customer, “we’re not committed to you.” Lack of commitment directly results in low or no accountability. Be prepared to call out members who don’t follow through. Leaders who value their customers work hard improve and maintain the integrity of their business. No team member can achieve any professional goal to customers, if they don’t personally hold themselves accountable from the start.
Don’t point fingers: Never tolerate your team to point fingers and blame each other. This is the beginning of chaos and will not produce any responsibility within the team. Only team members with integrity will Acknowledge and correct themselves first before lashing out at others.
Own Strengths & Weaknesses: Accountability in a business trusts the business team to acknowledge both strengths and weaknesses. Just as you are confident in projects you know your team will do well, be just as accountable when it’s a project that you know you can’t do well. The integrity of your business will be rewarded when you honestly do what’s best for the customer.
3. Consistently Drive Improvement
Accountable businesses are always growing and improving their services, products and processes. For a business to grow, the team must have regular access to education and training to develop new skills. Business owners must be able to map out exactly what the teams needs to drive improvement. To do this a leader must know what’s working and what isn’t.
Routinely evaluate: Have the team take self-assessment test on a monthly or quarterly basis. Have the team share their results and brainstorm about what positive changes they each could make going forward. When people are forced to recognize their short-comings they’re more likely to correct them.
Ask, how are we doing?: Just like the bumper stickers you see on trucks that say “How’s My Driving?”, Invite the outside in to help improve what your business is doing. Perform regular customer surveys (potential customers too) and share the results with the team. Again, have the team brainstorm what changes need to be made and the best way to get it done.