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How to Make Your Team More Responsible and Accountable

Having Teams whose members are responsible and accountable is a necessary condition to achieving great results. And, therefore, your success as a leader or manager in your organization greatly depends on it.

But what is exactly being a responsible employee? And how can we help our team to get there? And what about accountability?

In this video, we talk about Responsibility and Accountability and how you, as a manager or leader in your organization can keep growing your team in that direction.

To your growth and success.



Video Transcript

i would like to talk today about responsibility and accountability and what we can do as managers or leaders in our organization to increase those levels of responsibility and accountability in our teams because we understand that without teams who are responsible and accountable achieving great level of results is really difficult. But before going there i would like to review the definitions of these two terms to be better understood. Sometimes they are confused one with the other.

Responsibility as the business historian Vincent Berry said is the sphere of duty or obligation that is assigned to one person based on the nature of that person's job function or work.

So it's related to the activities that that person need to do as part of the job and how they are able to do them properly. On the other side, accountability is the acceptance of that person on the consequences of their actions and the results that they are through their actions. Let me give you an example to better understand it. A practical example.

Let's say that we have a CEO who wants to deliver a very important message to his management team so he calls in his assistant and he asked her specifically: "I have a very important message to deliver to my team please schedule this week a meeting with all of them so i can deliver that important message". So, the assistant goes away, check the availability,

send the meeting invitation, and schedule the meeting in everybody's calendars So the day of the meeting comes and the CEO is surprised when he sees that in the meeting room there are many team members absent. So he calls the the assistant and and asks what's going on why not all my team is here and the assistant says: "I don't know, everybody seemed to be available. I sent a meeting invitation, everybody accepted. I don't know what to do, I did what you asked me to do". So, would you say that that assistant is responsible i would say yes she did her job she did what the ceo asked her to do to schedule a meeting she checked the availability she sent the meeting invitation and the meeting was in place. Can we say that the assistant is accepting the consequences of her actions? Absolutely not. She thinks that people are not there but it's not because of this is not her job, if people are not there she doesn't understand why, or whose responsibility is that. So what could she have done differently to be an accountable assistant? She could have talked individually with each one of the management team members, she could have stressed the importance of the meeting, she could have double checked the day before of the meeting, and she could have raised to the CEO any specific

issue that any team member may have faced, or any specific conflict preventing them to attend to the meeting. So she could have taken extra steps on what she did to improve the level of the results because she would have felt responsible for the level of the results of her actions.

So, what can we do? How can we increase that level of responsibility and accountability in our teams? Before that, let me remind you that you cannot demand somebody to be accountable if that somebody is not responsible.

So, how can we achieve having all of our members responsible on what they do? First, we need to be very clear with them on roles and responsibilities,

Second, we need to be sure that they have the training and the knowledge they need.

Third, we need to be sure that they have the level of experience for the level of responsibility that we demand from them, and then we need to be sure that they have the level of motivation and attitude to perform that level with the results that are satisfactory for us.

And then, after we have checked all these points, we need a critical point: we need to agree with them.

Because one person is not responsible because we are telling them that they are responsible they are responsible when they accept that level of responsibility. So we need to be sure that this is a two-way communication and when the person accepts that they are responsible is because he or she doesn't see any gaps. If she points out some gap that prevents them to feel responsible then we as, a manager, will need to work on those gaps close the gaps until we are aligned and the person acknowledges that they can be responsible for that specific task. So this is our role

as managers or leaders: we need to be sure first that all of our team members are responsible for the work we assigned to them. Then, we have to move them on the accountability scale, up this accountability scale. How to do that? First and foremost, we have to be very clear on our level of expectations. Same as the CEO with the assistant, we need to be very clear on what we expect from them

to perform their job, and then on a day-to-day basis we are going to observe gaps, gaps on the behavior, gaps on their actions, so we have to deliver or to provide feedback, timely feedback,

in order to close those gaps and keep them getting them closer to the level or level of expectations.

Because it's our role as a managers or leaders to keep developing our teams and this is a never-ending process, can be a never-ending process. We have to keep moving, developing,

and achieving higher and higher level of results.

As we, as a managers, we keep developing ourselves we need to develop our teams. So if you would like to keep that conversation a little bit further with me please go ahead and schedule a meeting, a call with me, and please don't forget if you didn't do that yet, subscribe to our newsletter and you will receive periodically tips, comments, advice, on how to increase the level of results that you can get as a successful leader or manager in your organization.

Thank you very much for listening today. Take care.


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