Take Some #$!% Responsibility Will You!
Tired of finger pointers?
Sick of watching teams play the blame game?
Done with managing under-achievers?
We hear you.
For your organization to succeed in the new world of work, you need more from your employees than just their time. You need them to take charge of their work, hold themselves accountable for hitting goals, and perform with excellence.
You need them to take some #$!% responsibility!
Sound like too much to ask? It’s really not. In fact, as a manager you can do many things to encourage individuals and teams to take ownership of their work – and deliver as promised.
Here are a few tips for getting employees to accept responsibility for their actions, performance and outcomes on the job:
Related post: How to Get Your Team to Take Charge
- Start by looking in the mirror. Do you live up to your commitments? When things go wrong, do you take responsibility for your actions – or look for a convenient scapegoat? If you want your employees to take more responsibility for their own work, make sure you’re modeling the behavior you desire.
- Empower your employees. In this earlier post, we review what “empowerment” really means in the workplace – and how you can build the right culture to promote more empowered, accountable employees.
- Set clear expectations and goals. Set your employees, teams and projects up for success. Start by establishing goals and creating a clear plan of action. Make sure everyone understands their role, their responsibilities and what’s expected of them – and by when. This post reviews, in detail, the steps you should take to get teams to be more accountable for the results they deliver.
- Expect excellence. It sounds simple, but many managers fear the worst – and hold the reins too tightly. Micromanaging does more than waste your time; it sends the message that you don’t trust them. Show your staff that you believe in your employees’ abilities by delegating responsibly and empowering them to perform.
- Reward initiative. Privately and publicly praise both individuals and teams who go out of their way to:
- Do more than what’s asked
- Take ownership of their mistakes – and work to correct them
- Solve the root-cause of small problems before they escalate
- Improve their skills
- Help others hit their goals or resolve issues
- Connect the dots. Clarify for employees how their work affects their team, their department, your organization and the world at large. When people can envision the impact of their daily responsibilities in this larger context, they find greater meaning in their work – and feel more accountable for delivering great results.
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