There is a phrase people don’t want to hear too much.
Years ago, I remember hearing my former team complaining about a session they had to have with an external trainer on “Accountability” and how it bothered them so much.
“We were told we had to start owning what we worked on.”
Even though they already were, the hidden message they were all reading was – “We have to start owning what we work on and everything that came before us” – which is impossible.
There is a difference between having your team being accountable and micromanaging them. In the remote world, this is often confused with monitoring their presence, when they are online and what they are doing. These are the best ways to reduce and kill accountability in your team.
When thinking about accountability with a team I am leading, here is what I think of;
- Are you keeping me up to date on what is going on?
- Are you asking for help when you need it?
- When you are confused are you reaching out?
- If the timeline doesn’t work are you putting up your hand at our meetings to discuss?
That’s accountability, when transferred to the remote world, the goal and requirements don’t change.
What does change is that I am no longer able to walk around and ask you these questions, you need to raise them yourself, probably more than you did before.
It’s not just about owning it, it’s saying something about what you own.