Saturday, September 25, 2010

10 Reasons Why Accountability is so Hard

Over the last several years we have had the pleasure of working with awesome clients.  As I think about common themes and challenges over the last year, accountability keeps coming to mind.  Whether it is a matter of changing from a culture of entitlement to high performance or the task of setting goals so that everyone understands what is expected, accountability seems to be hard.

So, I ask myself, why is accountability so hard for managers and HR professionals?  Here are some of my lessons and observations from the past several years:

1) Accountability means having tough conversations sometimes.  Some managers are not comfortable in this area.
2) Goal setting is difficult if done correctly.  Goals have to cascade from top to bottom; sometimes this gets stuck in the middle.
3) Follow-up on goals is hard if no one leads the effort
4) No one is holding managers accountable for accountability
5) Isn't accounting supposed to do that? LOL
6) The culture does not support accountability.
7) There aren't any consequences for non-performance.  This one is really bothersome, as there are goals, and objectives, but poor performers are treated the same as high performers.
8) Entitlement over performance: We can't fire him/her they only have 5 years to pension.  Really?
9) The lack of a performance appraisal is no excuse.  Goals can be written and tracked in any format.
10) My manager doesn't hold me accountable, so why should I hold my employees accountable?

Here is the good news....I do see a lot of companies getting very serious about goals, performance and metrics.  I think companies are forced to pay attention to these items in order to remain competitive and keep efficiency and effectiveness in line.

Here comes my big question for you....How do we inject accountability into our workplaces?  What has been your experience with keeping managers and employees accountable?

Please comment I would love to hear from you on this topic!!

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