Being a business owner or a manager can be a challenge for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest is putting a plan in place to keep employees accountable. There’s a fine line between being a supportive manager and being a micromanager. Lean too far to one side, and your employees yearn for freedom and start to resent you. Lean too far to the other, and you strip them of the chance to learn and grow. With such a thin margin of error, it’s crucial that you develop a plan to keep employees accountable. Whether they’re located in the office or out in the field. We’ve put together three quick tactics to consider incorporating as part of that plan.
1. Set clear expectations for employees
If you’re only giving your employees feedback once a year, you’re truly doing a disservice to your staff. If you notice something, say something, and don’t be afraid of tough conversations. Delivering bad news is never fun, but employees will appreciate the feedback. As long as it’s done in a constructive and helpful way. Be sure that the conversation is a two-way dialogue and that you make it clear you’re there to help. Waiting to do this until a certain calendar date implies acceptance of the action.
It’s hard to hold someone accountable for something they didn’t know they were supposed to be doing. In a time where managers are often asking employees to take on duties outside of their job descriptions, it’s your responsibility to articulate exactly what you want. Part of those duties should include behavioral and administrative obligations, like arriving on time, acting ethically, and respecting fellow co-workers and customers for example.
But it’s also a good idea to provide a blueprint of what you expect from their professional performance. You can accomplish this by using “SMART GOALS.” ( Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) By writing down these goals, both you and your employee will walk away with a mutual understanding of job expectations.
2. Supply the training and the support needed to be successful
You probably wouldn’t ask someone with little experience as a mechanic to work on your sports car, would you? In the same respect, you shouldn’t ask an ill-equipped employee to take on projects beyond their scope of knowledge. Providing employees with stretch goals or proficiencies to shoot for is good for growth. Making them accountable for something they aren’t trained for irresponsible. It also can potentially harm their health and your brand.
Instead, focus on developing comprehensive educational programs that cross-train employees across multiple disciplines. That way, you’ll help your employees build more robust skillsets, which can pay dividends for your business down the road.
3. Provide feedback early on, and often
After you’ve given feedback, don’t be shy about checking in later to see how the employee is doing. And as always, don’t hesitate to proactively give positive feedback. If you’d like to learn more about helping to manage and strengthen your relationships with your employees, click here to read our blog about employee relations
Keeping employees accountable is good for business
It’s common for an employee to become disengaged and sloppy with their work when they lack accountability. When you develop your accountability plan for employees, make sure you stress that it’s not to penalize but to help. Clear up any confusion around focus and to make the business more efficient.
WHERK knows a thing or two about efficiency. We built our home service software to help companies fill gaps and increase both efficiency and productivity. If you’re interested in learning how we can help your business, submit a request for a demo session with one of our experts today.