Useful Tools for Increasing Accountability
Once you have created a workplace culture where accountability is openly discussed and cultivated, it is useful to have some tools that you can use to embed the practice of accountability into your day-to-day working routine. Below are some ideas to consider.
Goal Setting and Review Meetings
Getting the team together first thing on a Monday to set targets or goals for the week is fairly common practice. For accountability to be upheld by the team as a whole, try gathering again last thing on Friday to review everyone’s progress towards his or her goals or targets in a supportive and transparent atmosphere. Knowing they will need to be accountable to their team mates helps people to be motivated and focused. The sense of shared celebration when we achieve our goals together is a great incentive. If someone is failing to meet their targets this is a time when they can ask for support or ideas from other colleagues.
Project Management Tools
A project management app, dashboard or analog whiteboard system that everyone can view or contribute to helps to track the progress of the whole team as well as individuals. Team members are then transparently accountable to each other as a matter of course and there is an opportunity for shared responsibility in holding each other accountable when things go off track. Trello and Asana are good examples of this kind of tool.
Performance Reviews and Agreements
Most organizations sit down regularly with employees to review their performance. This is a great opportunity to set SMART (specific, measurable, realistic, achievable and time-bound) agreements about performance expectations. When the next review comes around, you have an agreed – upon picture of what good performance looks like and the individual is accountable to a specific and measurable commitment they have made.
A Shared Calendar or Schedule
This can help everyone on the team to see important deadlines and celebrations and to have a sense of progress over time on key projects. It can also allow individuals to log times when they are going to be away or unavailable, which supports other team members to schedule their own work accordingly and avoid bottlenecks or misunderstandings around collaborative projects.
Transparent Communication Platforms
Michael DeFranco, founder and CEO of Lua recommends Slack as a company – wide communication platform. Slack allows colleagues to communicate in real – time, see when others are available for communication and keep track of what other people in the team are working on or discussing. This platform and others like it offer a great tool for increasing transparency and accountability within a team.