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Stay Accountable

Studies have shown that employees believe up to 50% of their peers lack accountability?

Of course, accountability can refer to many different traits.

Are they accountable for their job performance and effectiveness?  Are they forthright to their team and collaborators? Do they appropriately prioritize their tasks and inform stakeholders of changes?

Still, based on the statistics, half your employees think their co-workers are slackers.

What does that say about your business, your employees, and your leadership?

Stay Accountable

As business leaders and entrepreneurs, we need accountability.  We need to be accountable to our employees, shareholders, and stakeholders.  We need our employees to be accountable to us and to each other.

The primary way to reinforce accountability is through goal setting.

Goal Setting

Accountability is driven and facilitated by the culture within an organization. Policies that shape that culture must be expected of all employees, from the owner down to new hires that are just learning the ropes.

To inject accountability requires a concerted effort from the top of an organization. To encourage accountability, employees must have a clear definition of the standards that they are being held to.

Defining clear and realistic goals is crucial. Accountability is driven by company culture, and that culture comes from the top down. Goal-setting is the most critical component for fostering an environment that encourages accountability.

Set Goals to Drive Accountability

Here are eight methods to hold yourself accountable to your goals — and by association, create a corporate environment of accountability.

  1. Be honest with yourself.

You must make a brutally honest and thorough assessment of yourself — you need to see your talents and shortcomings as clearly as possible and understand what works best for you in reaching your goals.

  1. Commit to a schedule.

One of the biggest missteps with accountability is setting deadlines for reaching your goals, but failing to set a schedule that will actually get you there. Often, we’re so focused on the end goal (such as losing 20 pounds, writing a book, launching a business) that we forget that any goal can only be accomplished through a step-by-step process.

  1. Create micro-goals.

You have an overarching plan, and you’ve decided on a schedule but begin to procrastinate.

To avoid this, break down each segment of your goal into a tiny “micro-goal.” Divide each larger task into the smallest possible unit of progress, and include each of these baby steps in your schedule.

  1. Get an accountability partner.

An accountability partner is someone who is committed to helping you reach your goals. This partner will work best if he or she is reliable and genuinely committed. Your accountability partner must be able to give you unbiased feedback.

  1. Overcoming self-sabotage.

Self-sabotage is our subconscious way of limiting our success. To hold yourself accountable, you must understand what impedes your progress. Work to overcome self-sabotage by identifying your negative patterns.

  1. Know your why.

Holding yourself accountable means having a crystal-clear reason why this goal is essential. Your accountability to your goal will be improved if you understand your motivations.

  1. Celebrate each little win.

Taking time to celebrate each success — whether it be big or small — helps build momentum and stay focused.

  1. Review how you’re doing

Regularly review your goals.   A quick review of how far you’ve come can kick your motivation up a notch and get you back on track when you start to slide.

The Bible

Accountability is a helping-each-other-out sort of relationship where we ask the question, “Did you do what you said you would do?”

With Christian accountability, our goals are interlaced with our relationship with God, who asks the same question..

In James 5:12 He says.

 “let your yes be yes and your no be no.”

Too often, we make rules but don’t hold anyone accountable, or we pay for a level of performance but don’t follow-up on specific results.  Soon our rules mean nothing, and our expectations are no longer followed.

As business leaders, we need everyone to understand that our words have meaning; our yes means yes and no means no.  When our organizations understand that, we have taken the first step toward corporate accountability.