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How to hold people accountable – Performance management

Everybody, somebody, anybody, and nobody

Does this little story sound familiar?

“This is a story of four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it.  Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.”

 

Simple Flow - Performance Management

Image: Infographic: SIMPLE approach to high performance organization

 

But how to avoid this? How to hold people accountable? How to create a culture of accountability and hold people accountable? How to handle performance management?

Actually, it’s SIMPLE:

S = Set expectations
I = Invite commitment
M = Measure progress
P = Provide feedback
L = Link to consequences
E = Evaluate effectiveness

S = Set expectations

I = Invite commitment

M = Measure progress

 

 

P = Provide feedback

L = Link to consequences

E = Evaluate effectiveness

Goals must be tied to larger organizational ambitions

For goals to be meaningful and effective in motivating employees, they must be tied to larger organizational ambitions.

Employees who don’t understand the roles they play in company success are more likely to become disengaged. No matter what level the employee is at, he should be able to articulate exactly how his efforts feed into the broader company strategy.

High performance and success are not dependent on one simple factor or as a result of one or two things. The entire context you operate in greatly impacts your results.

 

 

Article published:
This post was published in Trud newspaper (Bulgaria) – “Проста рецепта за отговорни служители” and online

 

Short URL & title:
How to hold people accountable – Performance Management — http://www.torbenrick.eu/t/r/rue

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About the author
Torben Rick Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland

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About the author
Torben Rick Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland

View full profile

12 comments on “How to hold people accountable – Performance management

March 16, 2011 2:34 am

Diane Rapin

Team members also need to hold each other accountable. This does not mean reporting all employee problems to the manager, but a willingness to to talk directly to a team member. It requires the skills to speak with clarity and respect to address problems before they impact quality.

July 25, 2011 6:30 pm

Naresh

Direct reports are better accountable…

Typically the accountability of peers from cross functional teams is a bigger problem. In today’s cross geographic development teams, this problem is becoming a bigger bottleneck…

December 7, 2011 6:20 pm

rick maurer

I like SIMPLE. Some mnemonics are tortured affairs, SIMPLE really is simple and covers the bases nicely. Well done. I especially like I – invite comment. That often seems to be missing from conversations about performance. It’s what can turn a performance monologue into a performance dialogue.

March 18, 2012 11:08 am

Gary Simmonds

Nice job Torben. This short piece gets to the heart of it.

September 15, 2012 12:21 pm

Oleckne

Well, what about empowering people to actually (want to) be accountable?

September 21, 2012 1:52 pm

peterahunter

Alfie Kohn in his book “Punished by Rewards” has shown us how pointlessly destructive setting targets is.
The alternative, as Olekne so concisely points out, is to create an environment in which the workforce become accountable for their own performance.
 
When management set targets they are seen as arbitrary and are seldom achieved.
When the workforce set their own targets they are higher than any thing that management ever believed was possible and they are almost always achieved.
 
Stop telling people what we think they should be doing.
Start asking them what they need to achieve what they know they can do.
 
The difference is astonishing.
 
Peter A Hunter
http://www.BreakingtheMould.Co.UK

January 3, 2013 3:19 pm

Michael Zroback

This describes the ‘how’ of holding people accountable; however, the way in which this process is done can make all the difference. Without a good relationship with those you are trying to hold accountable this process will not work.

March 13, 2013 12:26 pm

Gary Ryan

Torben,
Thanks for your article. I do wonder if what you have written is only half the story? What if the organisation was also interested in the success of the employee? How do you think that would fit in to your SIMPLE appoach? If you are not sure about what I mean, ask employees what they care most about (using a forced response question structure) – their personal success or the organisations?

What if employee personal motivations could be understood and enhanced by an organisation? What do you think that would do for employee motivation and accountability for organisational objectives?

These questions are particularly relevant for your ‘I’ section of your article. The assumption is that employees will commit when they understand how the organisation’s goals will benefit them. I’d argue that this is only achievable if the organisation understands what the employee’s personal goals (across their entire life) are so the synergies can then be explored and understood by both parties. Then motivation and accountability can work both ways.

October 20, 2013 3:21 am

Joven San Pedro

Rick,

Great idea.. and as most great ideas are…yours is simple.
I can imagine developing a management workshop on performance development based on your concept.

Thank you for sharing.

Joven

December 13, 2013 4:29 pm

Gillian Dennis

Rick,

I can really relate to your ‘simple’ approach and though it was not explicitly described in your piece, I am sure you would have considered the role that leaders played in every ‘simple’ step which would articulate the ‘How’ e.g. when setting expectations How should the leader engage the organisation to get these done, and when inviting commitment How does the leader demonstrate their own commitment to the performance objectives.

Thinking the How through makes a huge difference between, just missing vs achieving vs surpassing business objectives.

thanks for this
G

May 20, 2014 8:21 pm

Jason Kushner

Accountability is important no matter what your industry is.

June 23, 2014 6:50 pm

Esamtullah Khoshal

It is to be appreciate, the real bases for hold some one accountable for whatever we promised to be delivered,
thank you very much for all

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