How to Hold Your Team Accountable

Luke Acree

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Anyone who grows a team wants to get the best possible performance from the people they hire. Otherwise, your company won’t scale the way you want it to.

But while every business has dreams of becoming more successful, too many aren’t prepared to do what it takes to get the next level.

I’m talking about holding your team accountable.

In this blog, you’ll find my four steps to creating accountability and growing a hugely successful business.

Set and inspect expectations.

Set and inspect expectations

As a leader, it’s your job to point your team in the direction you want them to go.

If you’re not communicating exactly what needs to be done, that is ultimately on you. Your team will succeed only if they have a clear idea of what success looks like.

In our company, this means monthly, quarterly, and yearly KPIs, as well as regular meetings to check in on progress. Everyone has individual goals and numbers they need to hit, which tie into larger goals for our organization.

Regardless of whether you have two team members or 200, you need to set and then inspect your expectations—checking in regularly to ensure that progress is being made—then reward or discipline accordingly.

On that note…

Don’t shy away from confrontation.

Don't shy away from confrontation

In business, as in most any other part of life, people don’t want to have difficult conversations. They don’t want to discipline, because discipline causes disruption.

This is a huge mistake. When you fail to discipline your employees for not meeting expectations, this sets a dangerous precedent. Other team members will see what their coworker got away with, and they’ll want to test your limits.

Let’s say you have an employee who is habitually late. If you never reprimand them for it, other people around the office will start to get the idea that they can be late, too. From there, you’ll quickly lose control of everything.

In a way, leading a team is like being a parent. You need to create an environment based on discipline. If you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.

When a good parent says “No homework, no video games,” they mean it. Have that same level of conviction, and your team will ultimately respect you more for it.

Practice positive reinforcement.

Practice positive reinforcement

It’s important to crack down on bad behavior, but you’ll need to compliment and reward people three times as much.

When you only ever sit down with someone to discipline them, they won’t look forward to those conversations. They’ll also be less likely to come to you when they need help with something. That’s not a healthy environment for anybody.

Like the old cliché says, you catch more flies with honey. The same goes for managing a team.

When you let someone know that you’re in their corner, you’re inspiring them to do great things.  An inspired employee will always work harder and get better results than an employee who isn’t inspired. If you take nothing else away from this blog, remember that fact.

Hold employees accountable to their dreams.

Hold employees accountable to their goals and dreams

We have KPIs for our sales teams based on our broader, companywide goals. But we also want to help our employees reach their personal goals.

Let’s say someone wants to make $100,000 this year. They want to do this so they can buy a new car and send their child to a better school.

That’s a great place to start! There’s a clear financial goal, but it’s also tied into a bigger purpose.

We’ll reverse engineer this goal based on how many calls this person needs to make, how many conversations they need to have, and how many deals they need to close.

I just had a conversation with one of our sales callers, who was afraid to ask for the close on a particular call. I asked him what his “why” was. What’s his revenue goal for the year? What’s driving him?

It’s my job to hold my team accountable to their dreams.

In our company, we have regular one-on-one meetings between management and employees. Once a year, each employee will have an extended meeting—an annual review—where we’ll look at the bigger picture. We do this to make sure everyone is working toward their personal goals, and that we’re helping.

In my opinion, you’re not a good friend, colleague, or leader if you don’t support the dreams of the people around you.

When you hire someone, make sure their goals align with what your company can provide. If they’re looking to accomplish things that are out of step with your organization, you’re better off hiring someone else.

But there’s a flipside to this. When you get the right person in the right position at the right company, it’s like catching lightning in a bottle—you’re going to see some amazing results.

Written by Luke Acree

Luke Acree, President of ReminderMedia, is a sales fanatic, a marketing evangelist, and an expert team builder. Luke has worked with tens of thousands of agents over the years, helping them understand how to connect with their client database in a way that generates leads, secures repeat clients, and captures referrals.