Make People Accountable

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Home > Articles > Make People Accountable

 Make People Accountable

Geoffrey Moss | General
November 9, 2018
​Accountability, Performance, and Productivity; these are the key elements of a successful business.

BEING a chief executive officer (CEO) is not easy. You need to wear many hats. You need to be a visionary, a counsellor, a coach, and you need to inspire your team. A CEO needs to be able to network with clients and influential people, keep up with changing technologies, and make a sound profit. It is not easy and can be challenging at times but it can also be enjoyable and rewarding.

IMAGE: 123RF
Accountability, performance, and productivity are the key elements of a successful business. Accountability is the glue that binds commitment to results. Accountability relies on sound delegation and cannot exist without good accounting practices.

Delegation means retaining overall control while ensuring that each employee is made accountable for realising specific tasks and areas of responsibility.  

CEOs, managers, bosses, and leaders must clearly explain responsibilities for work tasks, the specific results required, and how these results will be measured. Make an effort to make these tasks challenging and enjoyable.

Always look to recruit good, ambitious people. Don't delegate this important task to others. You need only quality people about you. Never forget that you are only as good as your staff you have around you.

Here are some tips to make people accountable for their work. Tips or prompts we all know but sometimes we need to be reminded of. 

Define the Areas of Responsibility and How they will be Measured
Make sure the person you are delegating the responsibility to is absolutely clear of what is required and has agreed to take the necessary action. Agree on a completion time. Set an agreement date and put in measurables for each task. 

Structure work to give people control over their own success. Make sure they know the importance of the work you ask them to do.  

State the Areas of Responsibility both Verbally and in Writing  
Discuss the role, the areas of responsibility and answer questions. There must be no areas of misunderstanding. By putting the role in writing you will clarify your own thoughts and give the person a task brief to refer back to.

All Staff Must Know Who is Responsible for each Operation
All staff must be told if you have delegated responsibility. Good communication within an organisation is essential for success.

Avoid Overlapping Responsibilities 
Encourage staff with shared tasks to form teams or effective partnerships. To avoid confusion, break down tasks into specific responsibilities and name each person responsible for each task. 

Key Elements of a Successful Business
Build a culture for success. 

Praise good work, reward successes, and let people learn from their mistakes. 

Establish a culture that recognises success and avoids blame for failure. 

Ensure rewards are consistent and fairly distributed. They need to be proportional to the successes. 

Keep searching for ways to improve and do things better. Without personal accountability at all levels, any policy or programme will probably fail.

Make a lifetime commitment to objectively and unemotionally evaluate all your actions. Keep asking "How could I, or we, have done this better?"



Mr Geoffrey Moss has conducted 31 workshops at SIM and in a dozen Asian and Pacific countries attended by over 2,500 people. He is the author of Managing for Tomorrow, A Mentor for New Team Leaders published by Federal Publications, a Times Business Book.


Copyright © 2018 Singapore Institute of Management

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