Lack of accountability can be debilitating to an organization. When others see that there are no consequences to poor behavior or poor performance, general morale is negatively affected. In addition, I’m sure we can all think of times when we haven’t held ourselves accountable either.

Accountability can easily be related to following through on a goal. Goals are SMART , and holding people accountable is SIMPLE.

SIMPLE Accountability model

S: Set Expectations: make sure everyone is on the same page. It’s not realistic to think the lines of communications will communicate expectations magically. Write down what is expected. EXPECT people to line up behind the decisions.

I: Invite commitment: Hold meetings to make sure everyone understands how meeting goals will benefit the individual as well as the team. Most of us are willing to commit to something providing we understand what it is we’re committing to, and how it will benefit us.

M: Measure Progress: every goal should have mile-markers. Running a race is no fun unless we know how far we’ve gone, and how much further is left before the finish line. Goals are the same.

P: Provide Feedback: Share results. Don’t hold the successes close to your chest. Don’t keep the challenges a secret. Let everyone who is expected to participate, know where they stand as well as where the group stands.

L: Link to consequences: I don’t mean to belittle anyone, but all of us are motivated if we think there is a consequence. Consequence is seen as a negative, but in reality, consequences can be positive or negative. If a goal is not hit then the consequences are…. When a goal is hit, the consequences are…. If a goal is exceeded, then the consequences are…. Maybe it’s best to use the word “reward” to get across the positive.

E: Evaluate Effectiveness: What worked? What didn’t work? It’s only fair to put it all on the line and evaluate what we need to do better or what worked well.

What role do you play in keeping yourself and others accountable?

To learn more about SIMPLE Accountability see Rick Torben’s SIMPLE model

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