Data suggests there is a disconnect between managers’ feelings about holding workers accountable and employees’ attitudes about being held accountable:
- 82% of managers say they have “limited to no” ability to hold others accountable.
- 91% say that “effectively holding others accountable” is among their company’s top leadership-development needs.
- Only 14% of employees say the way their performance is managed motivates them.
- 26% of workers say they only get feedback once a year or less often.
- 40% feel that their manager holds them accountable for goals they set, though 70% of workers question their managers’ objectivity in how they evaluate performance.
For managers to successfully hold workers accountable in a way that everyone feels is effective, fair, and motivating, consider a few steps:
- Managers must set goals that encourage people to make their best contributions and genuinely enjoy doing so. When they do this, connections with direct reports deepen and the quality of feedback and learning increases.
- Establish and maintain accountability processes that prioritize fairness—clearly and consistently.
- Get away from the blame game; make restoration the goal. When workers fall short of goals, don’t jump to punitive actions or criticism. Make sure worker have the tools and skills to meet goals; and make sure targets are realistic and do-able.