Part 3 | Expectations & Accountability
Expectations are how we establish what we want people to do and how we want people to do it. We’ve talked about how to manage people and how we want people to work according to our values. Now it’s time to talk about the process of holding to these expectations and helping our employees be accountable for their actions.
Holding People Accountable the Wrong Way
Let’s say that someone is not producing results and isn’t working in line with your core values. The first thing you might want to do is grab one of your other employees and tell them all about it. This is not useful.
People are going to do things at work that upset you and frustrate you. You are going to think, “Why are they doing that?” And it’s not your job to go and find someone in your company that’s going to make you feel better. It’s your job to simply hold someone accountable for not delivering what they agreed to deliver.
Holding People Accountable the Right Way
Holding people accountable is simply math. If you feel any drama when you’re going to have a conversation with someone and hold them accountable for a result, then you need to clean up your own thoughts and frustrations before you talk to the person. You have to be really clear. Here’s the result, here’s the expectation, and here’s how you missed it, period.
Then they can give you their impression on what you say. And they may get really defensive, which is totally fine. But always stick back to the values, expectations, and accountability you have for them.
What If an Employee Keeps Misbehaving?
If there is an ongoing problem that’s been going on for a long time, and you’re blaming your employee, it’s because you’re not holding them accountable. You’re either not setting clear expectations, or you’re not following through on the expectations and holding them accountable to them.
You’re still responsible to hold them accountable, whatever the consequence is—that’s your role. Their job is to decide if they want to change. Your job is to always hold the expectation related to their result, and to how they align to your values.
This is why in the very first conversation you say, “Look, this is happening. If it happens again, this is what will happen,” and then you have to follow through on it.
Some things don’t get warnings, like being inappropriate at work or breaking the law, it’s just goodbye. Sometimes it’s, “This can’t happen again and if it does, I’m going to give you a 30 day warning.” This is super hard for many entrepreneurs because they don’t want to scare their employees or they don’t want their employees to not like them. This is what entrepreneurial maturity is about. You must hold your employees accountable or your business will suffer.
If you struggle with this, then you need to go back to Module One because your brain is scaring you and creating a scarcity mentality that is preventing you from taking action in your business.
Keeping to Expectations
If you have a culture that you’re creating where you’re not holding people accountable, that will destroy the morale in the organization faster than anything else. Many entrepreneurs want everyone to feel like a family and be pleasant and kind to each other. It sounds nice, but as a business you need to create results and a profit. At The Life Coach School we tell our employees that we are not a family, but a football team. We cut people from the team who aren’t performing and showing up.
If you’re not getting the results you want from someone on the team, related to the work that they produce or the way that they’re acting at work, you have two places to go always. Have I been clear with expectations, and am I holding them accountable?