I remember one time I was talking with one of my employees discussing the expectations I had for him. Under the glass of my desk there is a small sign that says "Hold Me Accountable". He told me in a sarcastic way, he did not want to be held accountable. Although, he admitted that he needed it, as we all do. This illustrates why some think accountability is a dirty word. Accountability fits in with delegation because it is really the linchpin to making sure the delegation is effective.
It is all well and good to delegate something to someone else on the team but what good does it do if that person does not execute and fulfill the order? Therefore, the last leg to successful delegation is accountability. I will discuss two elements of accountability; measurements and accountability cadence.
Measurements for Accountability
How will we know the delegation has been successful if we have no way to measure success. So, once we have created and communicated the expectations of the delegation, we need to put in measurements of key or leading indicators that will tell us that the delegation is being successful. For example, if we have delegated a task of sending out emails or letters to prospects, we need an exact measurement of what will be send out and when. Or if we delegate to someone to check on a crew that is working remotely, have the delegate report the percentage of the job completed or measure what is actually happening and how much on schedule the project is completed and when it will be finished.
One area to pay attention when delegating is how often should there be communication between the delegator and the delegate. I like to refer to this as “accountability cadence”. Just as a drum gives a band a cadence, the frequency of check-ins and reports is the accountability cadence. For example, should we report the results daily, weekly, hourly or annually? The other part of accountability cadence is who will report to who. Will the delegator go to the work to check on it or will the delegate report progress with records or communications? How will those communications be carried out? Is there a way to automate the progress to be reported? Will we use emails, texts, online applications or phone calls?
Accountability vs. Micro-Management
There is a difference between holding someone accountable and micro-managing that person. Accountability is simply making sure what is expected is accomplished. Micro-managing is diving into the “how” and “what” to do to accomplish those things. Once direction is given to the one delegated to carry out the task or objective then the delegator needs to step out of the way unless he or she is asked for help. So, just because one is asking for a progress report, does not mean that they are micro-managing the person or project. They are simply making sure that everything is on track.
Accountability is critical to success. Everyone needs accountability whether they want to admit it or not. Some more than others but in delegation, leaders must put accountability measures in place to ensure successful transfer of tasks and duties to other team members.
If you need help in your organization on delegation and accountability contact Eric Merz @ firstname.lastname@example.org or use this link to schedule a short call to discuss. https://my.timetrade.com/book/BL39M