How Do I Make My Employees Accountable?

Over my 30 plus years of working with privately held and publicly traded companies, I’ve heard the term “accountability” almost as much as the term “cash flow”. I’m often told, “I hired them for their experience and expertise, they know their jobs, but I just get what they give, not what I want”. This leaves companies questioning, “How Do I Make My Employees Accountable?”

The fallacy is that when you leave it up to your employees to determine “what good is”, you simply get their “good”, not your “good”.  If you can’t clearly define your “good” in terms of critical processes to be performed, financial and operational standards linked to how you make money, have the ability to measure those results, and link the results to how the employee makes money, you simply can’t create accountability.

In simpler terms the employee has to know precisely what they are accountable for.  They have to know what working under your definition of “good” means.  They have to know how and who to communicate the results of their observations to.  Therefore, in order for your employees to understand accountability, they need to know what “your good” is, they need to recognize “your good”, and accept that “your good” is achievable, and work to maximize “your good”.  Once they have done so, you have made them accountable.

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