Accountability...It is more than a fancy six syllable word. The business dictionary defines accountability as "The obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner." Accountability is not a new tool; it is not constricted to the business world; and it is not limited to adults. We learn at a very young age to be answerable for our own actions. With the gift of free will and the ability to make tens of thousands of decisions for ourselves daily, we pretty much are the conductors of our own lives; however, we must also be held responsible for those actions and willing to accept any ramifications associated with them. In the next paragraphs, I will speak of the challenges associated with the expectations of personal and team accountability, the negative outcomes which may result by the lack of accountability within your dealership, and the benefits your organization will experience if accountability is implemented wisely.
The geographic separation accompanied by independent style employees creates a legitimate challenge when encouraging personal accountability. Working from home with flexible customized schedules leave employees confronted with a new freedom and an opportunity to exercise self-discipline, or not. A diversified workforce presents an additional challenge in the organization's efforts to accommodate everyone fairly and require conformity regarding levels of expectations. Inconsistent leadership practices and stringent consumer demands are additional facets which challenge the endorsement of clear accountability. Considering the high costs associated with a lack of accountability in the workplace, management must share the company's mission and vision and make certain every single employee maintains a clear comprehension. Every team member must be focused on a common goal to remain self-motivated, contributing to the overall success of the organization.
Along with the omission of a controlled workplace accountability, comes costly circumstances, which dramatically impact the bottom line in a negative fashion. Employee theft, low employee morale, high policy work, loss dollars due to inefficiencies, conflicts among team members, and reductions in customer retention are all common factors which are prevalent when accountability is not encouraged, practiced and enforced in the dealership. If each person is not answerable to their own actions, the culture breeds unfair business practices; meaning the responsible employees work harder and more proficiently, while the slackers take advantage of the lackadaisical environment.
I bet you are asking yourself, "So what can I do as a leader to promote accountability throughout the workplace?" First, lead by example. Exercise humility and take full responsibility if your department endures a failure. Don't play the "blame game"! To enjoy a culture where the entire team embraces the fine character trait of personal accountability requires consistency throughout the entire dealership, from lot attendants to the dealer principal! You are now thinking, "But how do I get each employee to acquire the desire and the passion to be accountable for what they do?" I have outlined 5 easy steps to follow which will guide you through the process:
Now, take time to watch the benefits of team accountability grow to magnificent stature! Personal accountability will lead to entire workplace accountability and your bottom line will improve dramatically. Employee morale will sky rocket as team members will function daily at peak levels of performance. Effective and accountable leadership will build efficient teams with strong work ethics, again leading to enhanced profitability. Loss dollars due to lack of employee productivity will diminish. Consumer relationships built on respect and trust will be widespread over the entire organization, as every employee now understands the importance of each one of them extending the care and concern your customers deserve and expect! Again, profitability will rise to new heights and your dealership will reap the benefits of high customer retention!
Employ accountability within your organization, as the alternative is far too costly!