The Case for Accountability
HOW LACK OF OVERSIGHT CAN KILL YOUR BUSINESS
BY TIFFINY FLAIM
A new year and new decade give us the chance to start fresh, to set new goals, and to grow our businesses to new heights. The first step in this journey begins with holding our teams accountable.
Too often, the word "accountability" gets a bad rap. While people may feel it’s synonymous with negative terms like "helicoptering" or "micromanaging," I would submit that accountability sets the bar for your ultimate business success.
Analytics are not emotional; they are a critical component of processes. Processes give us a benchmark for performance. When our employees, our vendors and our associates know that benchmark exists, that their performance is being supervised, and that they are accountable for reaching it, they are more likely to strive to achieve it.
It’s human nature to become complacent when there is no oversight. Consider the perpetually late employee. If there are no consequences for his tardiness, he will continue to show up late to every job, giving your company a bad reputation. What about the team member who does sloppy work, installing 2 inches of foam on one wall and 4 inches on another, when the client has purchased 3 inches all around? If left unchecked, how does this reflect on your business?
Throughout my years in this industry, I have found it difficult to find leaders and foremen for my teams. It seems that most workers just want to show up at a site and perform their jobs. They don’t want to be responsible for calling out others on their poor performance. They go along to get along.
"Throughout my years in this industry, I have found it difficult to find leaders and foremen for my teams. It seems that most workers just want to show up at a site and perform their jobs. They don’t want to be responsible for calling out others on their poor performance. They go along to get along."
But I believe that if you set the standard high and hold people accountable for their work, they will either step up or get left behind. Accountability is necessary. If everyone understands where the bar is, everyone will rise to meet it. If everyone knows you’re watching, they will step up and carry your business forward with pride knowing that their work matters.
This new year, this new decade, I challenge you to let everyone know that you’re watching. Not only your employees, but all those who impact your business, from your accountant to your attorney to your bookkeeper.
I realize there may be some of you who feel you just don’t have the time to check everyone’s work. I would ask you to reframe that thought – rather than seeing it as a drain on your schedule, view it as an investment in your business. Make the time each month to spot check everyone.
If the work is completed correctly, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you have the right team in place to support your growth.
If you find errors, they can be corrected or you can provide additional training before they negatively impact your reputation.
Of course, we all make errors. But in the end, the most costly and regrettable will not be your teams’ innocent mistakes but those that result from intentionally cutting corners because no one was watching and holding them accountable.
Tiffiny Flaim, BIOFOAM SPFA President