In order to hold employees accountable for their work and meeting goals, it is important that managers are clear when assigning tasks or projects. Employees cannot be expected to be held accountable if what they need to accomplish is unclear or confusing.
Here are 4 ways to ensure employee accountability for work or projects assigned:
- Be sure the task or project assigned makes sense. Align individual employee’s personal and professional goals, and current skills, expertise and knowledge with tasks and projects assigned. Do they have the skills and experience to complete the work? Certainly you want to assign tasks and projects that will help them to grow in their role, but any assignments should enable them to be able to use their expertise. Strike a balance between having the skills to do the job assigned and having to build new skills on the job.
- Be clear with end results expected. While you don’t want to tell employees exactly what to do to complete the work assigned, you do want to be clear about end results expected. Clearly state the end goal of the assignment. What does success look like?
- Set clear timelines for completion. Be clear about timelines; given specific dates for completion rather than “as soon as possible.” If there is some flexibility in timelines, let the individual know. If there is no flexibility, be clear as to why a deadline must be met (e.g., this assignment must be completed in order to be ready for the upcoming board meeting.)
- Check in at regular intervals. Schedule regular check-ins to be sure the project is on track. For a project that is a stretch assignment, be sure to check in more frequently. Set expectations for progress for each check-in so that the employee knows what must be completed to keep moving forward.
These are 4 ways to set up assignments and project work that enables managers to hold employees accountable for meeting goals. A manager can’t expect an employee to be accountable when goals are unclear, the work to be done is confusing and there are no expectations set for end results.