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Holding People Accountable

Yeah, that’s the ticket. People will do as little as possible and must be held accountable to act. We all know people are basically lazy. Right? Let’s create a set of expectations that we can use to punish non-performance when it occurs.

Where do I go to apply for work with your organization? REALLY? NOT!

Douglas McGregor, MIT Sloan School of Management, addressed this head-on back in the ’60s with Theory X and Theory Y study; but it just keeps raising its head.

As opposed to using a stick (Theory X) to manage workers (at all levels) why not operate with the perspective (Theory Y) that expending effort to meet objectives and achieve established goals is a natural and positive inclination?

With the latter perspective, Supervisors:

· Communicate projects or tasks and check for understanding

· Conduct interim monitoring to confirm the proper course of action is being implemented

· Reinforce desired behaviors equally to energy expended on corrective actions

· Share successful outcomes and accomplishments

· If accountability is individual make sure the individual knows how the outcome fits into the bigger picture

· If accountability is a team deliverable, make sure all of the team knows how combined pieces will fit together…how the members can support each other in the achievement of the team’s goal

It has been my experience that people will meet your expectations of them. If you have high expectations of them, they will likely strive to meet them. If you have low expectations of people, they will likely meet those.

By the way, if you have workers around you who fit the first paragraph…who hired them? We need to talk.


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