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8 Tips for Holding Team Members Accountable

By: Bob Whipple
Posted: May 31, 2012, from the June 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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5. Be consistent. If you are a stickler for certain behaviors, make sure you apply the discipline consistently. Always avoid the appearance of playing favorites. Recognize that, as a human being, you do have differences in your attitudes toward people, but when holding people accountable, you must apply the same standards across the board.

6. Be discrete. Embarrassing a person in public will create a black mark that will live for a long time. If there is an issue of performance, share the matter with the individual privately and in a way that upholds the dignity of the person.

7. Be gracious. Forgiving a person who has failed to deliver on expectations is sometimes a way to set up better performance in the future. Get help for individuals who need training or behavior modification. People cannot be allowed to continually fail to meet expectations. Corrective measures should be based on the severity and longevity of the problem. One caveat: Gracious behavior cannot be faked, so be sure you are calm and have dealt with your own emotions before speaking to an employee.

8. Be balanced. There is nothing written on a stone tablet that says all forms of accountability must be negative. In fact, most people love it when someone holds them accountable for all the wonderful things they have done along the way. If accountability is viewed as both a positive and a corrective concept, then much of the stigma associated with the word can be removed.

Holding team members accountable is a great concept if it is used in a consistent, kind and thoughtful way. Try changing the notion of accountability in your work area, and you will see a significant improvement in your culture.