Instilling Accountability in Your Department

Is there a culture of “it’s not my fault” in your department?

Sometimes it comes across as subtle: “Oh, you wanted me to get this done by Friday?.  Other times egregious: “Both of you had projects that had deadlines on the same day. I didn’t know which one had priority so I chose Sam’s.”

Whatever the case, employees who don’t take responsibility for their actions (or inactions) can be a true bane to a workplace.

If you’d like to grow accountability in your department, start with yourself. Have you been guilty of passing the buck; coming up with a lame excuse; not doing something you knew you should have and claiming you didn’t feel well, your kid was sick, etc.; not telling the whole truth about why a project didn’t get done on time; not performing the “tedious” part of your job (whatever you construe as tedious) because it’s boring, you can do it blindfolded, so why put real effort into it; and so on?

We all do this sometimes. It’s when we don’t own up to it – to others or even to ourselves – that minor problems become big issues.

How can we put a stop to it? By owning up to all of our lapses, no matter how small or large. Another step is to do the job you’ve been hired to do to the best of your ability as much of the time as possible. In other words, keep the slacking to a bare minimum.

Doing so shows your staff members that a) they can trust you to own up to your mistakes, and b) that you’re not asking them to do anything that you don’t do yourself.

Your staff members’ trust in you builds as a result.

To help build accountability into your team, you might try these steps:

  1. Make sure your team understands how each of their efforts affects the larger picture. Meet with your staff members one on one to discuss how his or her position and projects affects the mission and goals of your business or department.
  2. Be exceptionally clear in stating your expectations regarding deadlines, work duties, work hours, who is responsible for what, etc.
  3. Let your employees know the consequences of not doing what they are required to do. Written warnings? Demotion? Outright firing? Give them clear consequences and let them know that rationalizations and excuses are not acceptable.
  4. Be clear in the rewards your employees will receive when they meet expectations. Pay raises? Extra vacation time? Other benefits?

When you’re looking for responsible insurance professionals with a “can-do” attitude, contact the recruiters at Insurance Relief™. We can source, vet and place workers at your firm for temporary, temp-to-hire and direct hire opportunities. Contact us today.