Welcome to part 2 of a 5-part series on crippling work habits that inhibit change and agility. To read part 1, click here.
Crippling Habit 2:
Lack of Accountability
If you’re hearing “I would have done it but…” or “It’s not my job,” around your company, then your business is suffering from a lack of accountability.
When I find a culture of blame or a victim mentality, it often points to a lack of clear ownership and the fact that the company’s reward system isn’t linked to results. People need to know what they’re responsible for delivering. They’ll know this if you tell them directly and unambiguously. You must also reward results, and to do that you have to measure performance against clearly defined goals.
When I visit a company, I ask people what they’re doing and if they know how their job fits into the company’s top directives. I then ask, “How well are you performing, and how do you know?”
To be effective you must measure results against goals—not just quarterly or at year’s end, but often weekly or even daily. While “meeting mania” is certainly unproductive, frequent meetings that focus on performance against those goals are absolutely necessary—and absolutely productive. Managers, along with everyone else in the company, must be held accountable. If you don’t make your goals, there must be a penalty.
The best carrot and the strongest stick are often compensation. I can’t believe how frequently I find that year after year workers who don’t meet their objectives continue to get pay raises. If there are no consequences for poor performance, you can’t expect improvement. What you can expect is a company full of poor performers.
Bob Prosen is president and CEO of The Prosen Center for Business Advancement®, where he teaches business leaders how to rapidly increase performance and profits. He is listed in The International Who’s Who of Entrepreneurs. Visit his website at www.bobprosen.com.
Join us next week when Bob discusses Crippling Habit 3: Rationalizing Inferior Performance
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