From Accountability to Alignment: 5 Ways to Empower Your Team for Organizational Success
As a business leader, your ability to hire, inspire and bring out the best in those that work with you is a key factor when it comes to achieving strategic growth.
When it comes to aligning your team to meet goals surrounding strategy, you need to establish an organizational structure rooted in accountability, communication and tracking success. Here are five areas of focus to empower your team to succeed:
1) Foster Accountability
Being held accountable is about more than just checking tasks off of a list. True accountability is the feeling of investment, almost ownership, in the company’s success and the individual’s role to impact it. It can be as easy as saying “I’m sorry”, and it can be as complex as designating accountability roles throughout your organizational structure.
Everyone in your organization should have a sense of accountability so they are focused on what matters most, not just what matters right now. Setting long-term goals for your business and giving your team responsibility in the wheel they’re spinning creates an environment of authenticity and real impact. This environment gives everyone on your team, from the sales leader to the copywriter an elevated sense of purpose and pride in their work. Sounds like the ideal team to work with, doesn’t it?
Giving a heightened level of responsibility to your employees can be scary, we know. But employees are the most important stakeholders for affecting your company’s success. So, giving them a voice and creating that sense of ownership from the bottom up ultimately opens the door to your company’s success. You hired them for a reason, now leverage their abilities to move your business forward.
2) Communicate. And Then Communicate Again
While this saying may be a bit trite, poor communication or lack of it all together still plagues growing organizations. Our ability to communicate effectively across all roles, functions, departments, and teams within a company, is crucial to the success of a business. And effective, consistent communication reinforces trust and strengthens relationships. The better you are at communicating with your team and fostering an environment of transparent, open dialogue, the stronger your business engine will run.
We tend to limit our concept of communication to speaking directly to someone, or even by way of an electronic message, but other forms of communication are just as important, if not more — especially within the workplace. Using team collaboration tools like Slack gives you and your teams the ability to see what others are working on, segment specific channels of quick communication lines and deliver recognition, even rewards when credit is deserved.
Successful companies use a frequent rhythm of communication to keep track of accountability and progress, making it easier to address problems as soon as they arise. Well-managed meeting rhythms will save you time and unnecessary email chains – that’s something we can all get behind.
3) Measure What Matters
These days, technology makes it easy to collect data on everything, whether it is truly important or not. Individuals and managers should be keeping an eye on progress toward Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as a way to measure how well efforts are impacting company objectives.
For teams or the company as a whole, company data visualization software and business intelligence tools help to highlight the collective progress of the group, tracking the path toward the company’s goals, setting clear objectives and creating transparency behind roles and their performance. These provide the visibility needed for your team and leadership to know how well the organization is performing as compared to your set objectives, who is excelling and what needs to change to bring others back on track.
Monitoring progress should be happening on a continuous basis. All too often we set goals in planning meetings and don’t look at them again until the end of the period. Goals and progress against goals need to be top of mind all quarter or year long. Look at your KPIs daily, and in your weekly check-ins analyze risks or opportunities that could affect your ability to meet your objectives. Making this a continuous process will aid your ability to execute.
4) Set Goals that Motivate
The practice of goal setting may have (to some) been considered more bothersome than beneficial to employees. Goals should not be delegated from the top down, but instead, it should be a collaborative process. Individuals should have a voice in determining their goals.
The development of goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, results-oriented and time-bound), are best achieved when managers work with employees. Schedule meetings with your employees and assign them personal rocks — long-term goals that they are responsible for and self-motivated to achieve. SMART goals and employee rocks foster accountability by encouraging your employees to push themselves, grow as professionals and to ultimately become stronger members of your team.
While it’s important to have goals that are ambitious, they need to be achievable. When done properly, setting goals can also help clarify an employee’s role, resulting in greater engagement and productivity.
5) It’s All About Alignment
Goal alignment is incredibly important to boost your productivity and increase your company’s chances of success. Download this worksheet to help you determine if you have the right people in the right seats within your organization. Discover conflicts, open roles, or an overabundance of accountability by some. Designed to help you identify challenges that may be barriers to your successful growth.
Pulling together the right tools and the right strategic management practices you create an environment of open communication, self-motivated growth, accountability to established goals and better performance review. All that together creates a business with the architecture for scalable growth.