Tag Archives: accountability
As an HR executive, you have many responsibilities and oftentimes being the champion for teamwork can get put on the back burner. You’d like to hope that you put a group of co-workers together in a room or on a project and they would be effective. But that can only prove to be a true waste of time and resources if these teammates don’t know how to communicate or contribute to an agreed upon outcome.
As with most successful processes, it is important to start by learning how to spot when things are not working or out and out failing. I’ve narrowed down four ways I’ve seen teams not be successful:
4 Reasons Teams Fail
1. No Common Goal – The team isn’t really a unified team and doesn’t yet share a common direction.
2. No Clear Direction – The leader does not have a plan in place, is unclear about the direction of the team, or the priorities needed to accomplish the desired outcomes.
3. No Purpose – Somewhere along the way, the team loses its initiative, purpose, and/or direction.
4. No Accountability – The leader is ineffective or unwilling to hold team members accountable for their work.
Teams that don’t stay on task and get things done are a waste of time. I know it can be a challenge to reach the desired level of team effectiveness especially if you’re putting together a new team, but not taking action to build a better team can leave your organization stagnant and your business goals out of reach.
For further reading on improving teamwork, see my article The Role of Human Resources in Helping Teams.
Learn How Your Teams Can Effectively Communicate
Whether in human resources or a manager trying to get his or her team to be more productive, the Everything DiSC Workplace® builds an understanding of communication styles and how to best work with the different types of communicators. I can also work with you on Train the Trainer programs so that you can build a core competency in DiSC and offer the training to employees, new hires and managers. Contact me or connect with me on LinkedIn.
Accountability is “the willingness of team members to remind one another when they are not living up to the performance standards of the group…” Accountability is the lowest scoring element of the five factors in the team assessment created by Patrick Lencioni and the team at Wiley.
This is no surprise! Many of you already know many supervisors have difficulty giving their direct reports corrective feedback or holding their employees accountable.
For many team members holding another team member accountable makes them very uncomfortable!
For those of you familiar with Patrick’s model from his bestselling book, The Five Behaviors of a Dysfunctional Team, you know team members can’t/won’t push for accountability if there is not trust or healthy conflict established within the team. I have included a terrific video link featuring Patrick. In the video, he makes you laugh as he recounts how even CEOs and executives have difficulty giving corrective feedback or holding someone accountable. As you watch, you will recognize more than one executive style you have worked with.
Accountability is one of the key stages to developing team trust in Wiley’s Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team.
In my next blog I will describe how I help team members take the next step into attaining accountability.
As our sons have headed off to college, with mom and dad financing most of the cost, we wanted them each to have some “skin in the game” by getting a part-time job during summers (and later, during the school year) to pay for “lifestyle expenses” (anything that was not tuition and fees, room and board); and by applying for a $5000 unsubsidized Federal Stafford student loan (6.8% interest rate) each year.
Our motivation is:
- We want to ensure they graduate, and were motivated to finish in four years.
- We also want them to have some appreciation for the cost of their education (which far exceeded their $5K investment) which we had worked many years to finance – and that loan will make some impact on their perspective (after graduation, when the payments kicked in!).
- We have encouraged them to return home for a few months after graduation and pay off the loan first before moving out again, with the goal of being debt-free. For motivation we had them read about this Harvard grad’s journey of paying down $90K in debt in just 7 months http://nomoreharvarddebt.com/.
What can slow down the repayment process, if stretched over the full term of the loan, will be the interest on the loan itself. We may consider paying off the loans for that reason, and have them repay us – but will want some formality between us. For one idea – this business will set up a loan tracking system to easily automate, monitor, and track the loan – ZimpleMoney. http://www.zimplemoney.com/Why-Zimple-Money-Finanical-Transactions.aspx.
We have a UC senior graduating in June 2014 to test the repayment process on, and a freshman starting this Fall who will take out his first loan in his name. We’ll see how this works for each of them!
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