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How to Build an Accountable and Responsible Team

Leaders can increase team accountability and responsibility by leading by example, showing their accountability and responsibility, and encouraging team members to follow their lead.

Establish clear goals and expectations

Make organizational changes transparent to team members, including what is expected of them as individuals and as a team. Set expectations and review them frequently to keep the team on track. Encourage team members to hold each other accountable for their tasks.

Get team members familiar with each other’s goals

Once you've established the roles and responsibilities of each team member, share them with the group. Have the team share their individual goals with each other. The more insight everyone has, the better they can leverage their individual strengths and work together effectively.

Involve employees in setting team goals

Present your team with the key deliverables they are responsible for and any resource, staffing, and time constraints. Set goals with them that will help them achieve those goals. This will foster a sense of shared purpose, commitment and accountability.

Define levels of authority

Define levels of authority. With defined rules and parameters, employees can become empowered team leaders. If they have little or no authority, they are not accountable or responsible.

Provide both positive and negative feedback

Building accountability and responsibility in individuals and teams relies on trust. To achieve this, you need to give feedback, good and bad. Through positive and negative feedback, team members can take personal responsibility and commit to improving and being accountable.

Address issues with team engagement

Open up communications so you know how employees feel in real time. This will help you identify where there is a lack of clarity or accountability. Make these issues a team-wide discussion topic to hold employees accountable and involve them in implementing solutions.

Avoid being controlling

People want to be coached, not controlled. The more you control, the less your employees do for themselves. The more decisions you make for them, the fewer decisions they make for themselves. The more questions you answer for them, the less they think and learn for themselves.

Treat all team members with respect

Lead by example and promote an inclusive and respectful culture. Team members will emulate your respectful behavior when they see it. Teams grow together and work more effectively when they share ideas and understand each other's responsibilities.

Celebrate and reward success

Start weekly recognition programs for the employees who save the most money, do something outstanding, have the best attitude, make the best decisions, or go the extra mile for customers. Some weeks, pick the winners; other weeks, let your employees choose.

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