A number of years in the past, a consumer requested a gathering to assist her resolve a scenario with an worker. After we sat down, she informed me that the problem was with a direct report who was unable to fulfill deadlines.
She requested me what she may do to inspire this worker to get work carried out on time. I requested for a bit extra clarification and mentioned mentioned the next:
Her: “Each time a undertaking is due, she finally ends up exhibiting up in my workplace a day or two earlier than the deadline and telling me that she wants extra time.”
Me: “How do you reply when she asks for extra time?”
Her: “Effectively, I give it to her in fact. She isn’t prepared with the deliverables, so I’ve little alternative.”
Me: “How lengthy has this been occurring?”
Her: “I don’t know…in all probability a 12 months or so.”
After extra dialogue, it appeared obvious to me the place the issue was…and it had little to do together with her worker. In spite of everything, if an worker can stroll right into a supervisor’s workplace and ask for a deadline extension each time they need and all the time get it, the place is the accountability?
She requested what I assumed she ought to do.
Me: “It sounds to me such as you’ve taught her that deadlines are meaningless.”
Her: “Huh? Deadlines aren’t meaningless.”
Me: “Effectively, if each time you set a deadline I can stroll into your workplace and get an extension each time I would like, haven’t you basically taught me that your unique deadlines are meaningless?”
Upon additional reflection, she realized that though she didn’t begin this sample, she was making it considerably worse by enabling the conduct. She determined earlier than we concluded to cease granting common deadline extensions.
Holding folks accountable to their commitments is a key job for managers. Three parts are important to determine accountability:
- Talk expectations prematurely of the project.
- Join at common intervals to debate progress and supply teaching.
- Give reward, assist, or suggestions as soon as the work is full.
How a lot time we spend on every of those three areas varies considerably, relying on the event stage and previous efficiency of the particular person we’re managing. Nevertheless, parts of all three are crucial to make sure accountability.
Whereas these three steps might seem easy, it’s so widespread for managers to overlook a number of of those steps frequently, that I by no means assume it’s being carried out properly. Each time a supervisor in a company asks me to educate one in every of their staff, one of many questions I all the time ask on the first assembly is, “What would you like me to do if I uncover that there’s something YOU are doing that’s getting of their method?”
So, that’s my query for you right now: When you think about these three parts of accountability, what are you doing (or not doing) that’s getting in folks’s method? You’re welcome to reply within the feedback under.