Are Your Employees Held Accountable?

It’s not that the work gets done – it’s how and by whom.

As managers, we have all conducted the normal objective-setting process with our employees, or held our regularly-scheduled periodic meetings (e.g. weekly, fortnightly) to review what our team is doing.  We believe we are holding our employees accountable by reviewing what our teams are getting done in their day-to-day activities, together with the progress they are making on the overall objectives set at the beginning of the year. And, of course, we focus on the progress being made on the various disruptions, or fire drills, that have more demanding deadlines.

But when all is said and done, how do we really hold employees accountable?  If you are like other highly-motivated and focused managers, the work always gets done, but who actually gets it done?  

Is it the person or team actually responsible? Or is it your "go-to" person or team? Or, more concerning, is it YOU?!  In many cases, the latter two is actually the reality of getting the work done.  So why don't we hold employees accountable for THEIR job? 

To justify who is doing what, we usually fall back on the fact that everyone is busy doing their day-to-day jobs, or that the responsible person or team doesn’t have the capacity, or even the skills, to perform the specific tasks they are responsible for based on their job description. But since the work gets done, we often don’t address the underlying issues associated with how that work is getting done. Who is really doing what?

One of the key competencies that Prism Partners International focuses on is accountability. This competency has implications to both a manager and an employee. For the manager, holding employees accountable for doing their job is critical to keeping a proper balance of work between employees. From both a capacity and skill perspective, it is imperative that managers make sure they have the right people in the right jobs to completely perform the tasks of the role based on the needs of the organization, which is driven by the strategy developed by management. It is also critical that these expectations are communicated to each of their employees.

For the employee, it is critical they recognize their responsibility and take accountability for their actions, or non-actions. Employees need to recognize that their evaluation will be based on doing all the tasks associated with their role – and doing them well. It is also an employee’s responsibility to address with their manager any issues associated with doing their job in its entirety. Not doing part of their job with the view they are too busy and “it will just go away” or “someone will get it done” is not the answer, and managers need to make sure that their employees understand this, as explained above.

Prism Partners International can help you and your organization hold employees accountable by identifying where you have the right resources in the right place, and where you may not. We can help identify those in your organization that don’t take accountability for their responsibilities. Please contact us to learn how we can help, and we also invite you to sign-up for our weekly blog posts at