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Performance Management:

Performance Management and Accountability

Accountability means that team members must answer for their efforts to accomplish an assignment, task, or goal.  Accountability has consequences which can work in both directions.  On the one hand, it can be used as a justification to punish or reprimand a team member.  Indeed, if performance is poor team leaders must intervene with some kind of corrective action.  However, if accountability is only used as a big stick, the work environment may take on an ethos of fear and anxiety.  Employees who are afraid of failure will be hesitant to try new things, expand their skills, or work openly and productively with colleagues.

On the other hand, accountability can be managed to help generate positive results.  If your team members understand that accountability will include learning and/or skill development possibilities, then corrective action becomes more constructive than dismantling. Skilled team leaders can shape accountability to improve employee performance, build capacity, strengthen commitment, and increase confidence.

Managing for Constructive Accountability

Below are a dozen performance management principles that team leaders must do to create a work culture where accountability supports improved performance. 

  1. Assign goals that are doable and within the capacity of your team

  2. Work with team members to set expectations

  3. Make certain that team members are crystal clear about your expectations.

  4. Give team members the authority to accomplish established goals

  5. Provide adequate resources to accomplish set goals

  6. Give assignments that fit with each team memberís performance capabilities. 

  7. Monitor progress and provide meaningful feedback as the work is being done

  8. Coach your team and model constructive work engagement

  9. Provide training when necessary

  10. When things become difficult support the team member having difficulties

  11. Recognize and celebrate solid performance.

  12. Work to create a culture of interactive support