Creating Accountability

Creating Accountability

In a Positive Discipline seminar, one participant asked me; "How do I create accountability? You see, I've hired somebody whom I thought has good potential. That was 6 months ago and until now I can sense he's not giving his best. While he does his job as expected, the quality is awful and it's causing a lot of delays in his department."

I've been asked this type of concern a lot of times, only in different settings and varying degrees. In all those questions, I gave 3 options for the concerned leaders to ponder and perhaps come up with their own answers:

  • Threaten the employee that it's either "shape up, or ship out."
  • Hold a meeting with the whole department and brainstorm for a solution to improve quality.
  • Call the concerned employee for a one-on-one counseling and discuss the matter privately.

At all times, different answers were given with accompanying justifications (of course, it's necessary to support your theory). From these answers emerge the "favorite" leadership style of the proponent, which makes it easy on my part to do specific interventions with different individuals.

For me to appear wise, I always employ the "there's no right or wrong answer here" tactic (oops, I shouldn't have told you this). But the truth of the matter is, while all answers may deliver positive outcome, there's a better answer than the others.
However, it is not as simple as it seems. Involving a lot of variables as you can expect in the dynamics of human interaction, it also depends on the delivery of the leaders themselves.

Let's make this an interesting, learning experience for all whose quest for learning is still alive . . .

Give me your best shot and we will discuss your answers in the COMMENT section below. Our discusions will be seen by others (for the sake of learning). You need not worry, there's no right or wrong answer here (have I said it before?) . . .

Now the challenge is on and open to all who wish to join.

Hope to hear from you,

The Leaders' Ladder

"Your learning is GUARANTEED!
I bring experience, my best teacher, to our meeting."
— Rey Misoles, CPC – From the Ranks to CEO –

"The most unequal thing a leader can do is to treat unequals equally . . ."


4 Responses to “Creating Accountability”
  1. beth says:

    my two cents on this matter was …. accountability just like any other traits comes from the person's basic principle in life. 
    and this basic principle will set direction and produces results in general, may it be personal or professional life.
    regardless whether you are a leader or follower, everyone of us is accountable for our actions as this will dictate result if it would bring you success or failure.
    just like rey – i also go for attitude rather than skills because any person who have a good attitude can always learn the skills through persistence and hard work.
    on how to create accountability – in general, at the onset – being an applicant applying for a position to a company – the applicant must already know his/her accountability to the company once he/she received a call or reply from his/her application.  What are the applicant's accountability
    – that all information stated on his/her application are all true and correct
    – being on time for his/her appointment. 
    – once hired, he/she must ensure that he/she delivers the expectation of the hiring manager
    and on the part of the hiring manager – accountability start from the time the hiring manager posted the position requirement for applicants to see (either from job portals or news prints); during interview and selection process; hiring and on boarding.  setting the right expectation from the very beginning of applicant engagement process is very crucial as this would set direction and results.  though certain circumstances does happen along the way – wherein transparency and open communication can factor in producing the same or different results but as long as this was managed properly then at the end of the day, both party will be satisfied.

    • ReyM says:

      Thanks Beth for your views. Indeed, accountability determines the results one has to produce. It also sets acceptance of responsibility of the task at hand. A good manager delegates responsibility for the completion of a task. However, the manager retains accountability for the outcome produced from that delegated task.

      The Leaders’ Ladder

  2. Pito de Castro says:

    Thanks for the e-mail Brod Rey. Indeed, it is quite a challenge.
    As for me, creating accountability of an employee starts at  the time when the employee applies for the position. Interviews and tests may reveal how good may  a prospective employee be, but letting him understand  the job for which he applies for at the very start and the conequences if he does not do the job well is putting in order the basic term for employment. Being frustrated by realities that do not meet expectations from the wrong employee  oftentimes results in more negative situations. Now, granting that there was in fact in mistake in hiring, and the employee does not know "accountability" it is necessary that apart from the must-do one-to-one, there must be personal coaching and mentoring to let the employee know better his responsibilities. Accountability emanates from one's value system. If the work value system of the employee is twisted, he or she will never be able to grasp what accountability is. Persistent coaching and mentoring may place an employee's work value system in the right form and place and hopefully, his sense of accountability, as well.

    • Administrator says:

      Nicely put Brod Pit. In fact, given a choice between attitude and skills, I go for attitude. While both can be positively developed over time, skill is easier to master. Attitude, which emanates from one’s values, manifests in the way a person acts (or takes accountability of their actions).

      A tip for managers in developing people: always ASK! Meaning, look into the person’s Attitude, Skills and Knowledge. Doing this, a good leader never fails to find the best FIT for anyone in the team.

      Now the ball has started rolling. Everyone, let’s join the fun of learning. Always remember . . . “Life is short but sweet. Learn to enjoy, and enjoy learning!