How to get team members to take initiative and be more accountable
Q: How do you motivate your peers to take the initiative and have more accountability for their actions so you end up with the best results?
—E.K. Smith, Kansas City, Mo.
A: There must be a clear vision and expectation placed upon each individual in order to focus on the actions that need to be executed. Here are six ways to help you achieve this:
1. Invest your time in your team. Find out what your people’s goals, values, aspirations and futures are all about. This can be an overlooked detail, yet it is valuable for fostering a group of loyal and motivated people.
2. Communicate to others as they wish to be communicated to. It’s simple: If we want to motivate others toward a greater initiative or sense of accountability, then reach out to each person in the way he or she best understands. Learn each individual’s preferences and personality styles, and communicate accordingly.
3. Define how each person fits within the group. This will create a stronger sense of role identity, promote team synergy and camaraderie, and increase accountability. Individuals will understand that the whole group can’t finish without all team members doing their part.
4. Measure progress. Establish criteria for your employees to report their growth. For example: daily recaps, weekly objectives and monthly benchmarks.
5. Teach your people how to win. Work to align what you expect with what others want and care about. Communicate how the goal will impact the individual positively and how it will establish a win for the group as a whole.
6. Do favors in advance. Helping others inevitably promotes a reciprocal relationship. When you are in need, you will have others willing to help.