Productivity is key in the workplace. Productivity means completed projects, well-formed ideas, as well as a multitude of other positive workplace initiatives and outcomes. The most essential part of productivity is accountability. Keeping your team accountable while at work can be a challenge, especially on longer and larger projects. But, like any challenge, it is something that can be overcome with some hard work and a little knowledge. In order to hold your team accountable, your team members need to understand how to hold themselves accountable, as well. Try using the following techniques to keep your workers on track and productive. You will find that, with a little guidance, your employees will be more focused than ever before.
Assign someone to hold them accountable
Perhaps one of the biggest steps to keeping your team accountable lies in finding someone for them to be accountable to. Consider holding weekly meetings with your employees, just to check in. Ask them what problems they might be having and if there is any way that you can help them achieve the goals they are striving to attain that week. By contributing to the success of your individual team members, you will help them as a whole, which in turn will help your project become a success. But the ways that your employees might need help will differ from person to person.
Consider partnering up your team members with someone else that they work closely with to create a system of accountability in which they hold one another accountable for what they have to do for the success of the team. This can be much less intimidating for your team members, who will be discussing their progress with their peers rather than with a superior. It’s possible that they will be more honest and open about where they are falling short. Encourage these partners to exchange techniques and ideas about productivity. Most of all, encourage them to see the partnership as a method of accountability to hold them responsible for the tasks that they need to complete.
Help them keep themselves accountable as well
The most essential key to keeping your team accountable is to make your team members accountable to themselves, first and foremost. The only person truly capable of keeping them on track is themselves. To do this, have your employees find out where they’re limiting themselves. This is where you need to take a good, long, honest look at yourself. This is a difficult step for anyone. Being critical of oneself in this way is painful, yet entirely necessary when creating a roadmap to your success. If you keep limiting yourself and holding on to these negative beliefs, you are sabotaging yourself before you even begin.
Find out where they are limiting themselves
Work with your team members when they discover where they are limiting themselves. Do they believe that the work they’re doing can’t get any better than what they’re doing now? Perhaps they believe that the project is doomed to fail. Maybe they simply lack confidence in themselves and in their work. Identifying the problem is only one part of the battle. The next portion is addressing it. Sit down with the members of your team and help them discover ways to stay productive during the day and help them learn how to finish what they might see as impossible tasks.
Have your employees maintain daily todo lists
It is essential that you hold your team accountable for what they do during their working hours. Consider instituting a policy in which your employees create lists of what they need to do throughout the day. A to-do list is a great way to keep yourself on track. Check off tasks as you finish them in their entirety for a sense of accomplishment. Use this list to maintain a sense of productivity while actually making sure that you stay productive. In the same vein, teach your employees how to prioritize tasks. Look at your to-do list. What needs to be done today? What, if absolutely necessary, can wait until tomorrow? Number these tasks as you go down your list. Starting from the first, most pressing task, work your way down the list. Organizing your day in such a way will keep you from prioritizing easier tasks over more difficult ones, when the more difficult tasks need to be completed first.
Teach your employees to break down tasks
Often, difficult tasks can be broken down into much more manageable pieces. Teach your employees how to take something challenging and split it up into pieces that can be easily checked off, one by one, on their list until the task is completed. But don’t let them stop there. Work with your employees, individually if need be, to find out what parts of the task, what small checkboxes, they struggle with the most. Do they get distracted when they need to check their emails? Are they spending too much time on social media in the workplace? Finding out the patterns and bad habits that they fall into is perhaps one of the best ways to combat bad habits on your team.
Implement team building
Consider holding an event in which your employees need to participate in team building exercises. Team building exercises can help employees better understand the strengths, weaknesses, and interests of their coworkers. Such information can prove vital in the workplace to performance as a group and as individuals on certain tasks. A better understanding of other employees as well as of oneself is invaluable to workplace productivity. A team can see where it is that they fall short and work to fill in those gaps by building one another up, correcting bad habits, and finding other ways in which they can support one another to achieve their common goal.
Giving your team accountability stems, ultimately, from making them see themselves as a part of a group that is working toward a common goal. This sense of accountability comes from a feeling that, should they fail to be productive, they will let down the entire team as well as themselves. Having your team interact and get to know one another, coupled with helping them understand their own bad habits and shortcomings, is sure to increase accountability in the workplace. Make sure that your team feels like a team – this is where those exercises are sure to come in handy – and make sure that your employees, as individuals, have someone that they can and should be accountable to. This person can be you or another employee on the team. But more than anything else, foster a desire within your employees to be accountable to themselves. Help them learn to take pride in their work and in a job well done. If you can do this, you will find that your team possesses a strong sense of accountability.
Get help when you need it
If your team is struggling to be productive and accountable after these tips, you might need some help. Hiring a coach for temporary coaching can make a huge difference in your team and how it functions, as well as develop you as a leader. SourcePoint Coaching offers free consultations to see if working together is right for you and your team. Contact us to schedule a call today.