Learning Alliances Company to Speak at Conference

Learning Alliances Company will be exhibiting and our very own Shirley Stelbrink will be speaking at the 2013 Spring EDUCate Conference: “Remove the Barriers: Opening a New Path to Engagement and Positive Outcomes”.

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Creating an Accountable Work Environment

^When a disaster in our country occurs, I find it disturbing that the media in America focuses on who to blame instead of how to help.  It wears me down when I know that eventually we are going to hear more discussions about what should have been instead of what was; going to browbeat the people involved until they are bloody with blame; going to hear that they should have known, could have known or even did know and did nothing about it then.  OK.  Got it.  So what are we going to do now?

I see lack of accountability everywhere.  It’s so easy to know the best answer when the situation is done.  As Maya Angelou says, “We do what we know.  What we know better, we do better.”  We are not learning to do better.

How does the lack of accountability impact your organization?  How do you lead with accountability?  How do others lead others with accountability?  Do you know how to build a healthy organization with accountable employees/volunteers?  If so, how is it working?

Let’s take a look at 7 steps to create a healthy work environment.

  1. Include Everyone . No one is exempt and it must start at the top. According to Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, a “level 5 leader”, shares the credit, takes the blame. We are on stage and must always lead with being accountable ourselves first. Then, hold all of us to the same standard.
  2. Define Success.  Everyone needs to know what, specifically, we are being held to for accountability. Make sure that everyone knows when they have succeeded or fallen short and use as a training moment. Set the target for clear goals.
  3. Listen.  Remember, we lead by example. Listen to other employees if you want buy in. Do not ask if you already have your mind made up. Do not ask if you don’t plan to listen. Do not ask if you do not want to know. If you request feedback, then communicate in return so others know what happened with the feedback.
  4. Measure.  Apply quantitative and qualitative measurement tools to assure your organization is serving others well with products and services. The goal is to find a successful balance between productivity/profitability and customer satisfaction. (A Few Examples: CRM software, feedback programs, critical aspects of accountability such as employee morale and assistance to others.)
  5. Hire Smart…really smart!  Hire people smarter than you. Train them and empower them. Get out of their way. Make sure you hire the individuals who will take initiative and learn from mistakes. Allow them to grow into the position they have taken.
  6. Re-evaluate and retool processes.  Accountability continues to evolve with no end date in sight. Regularly check if the processes are achieving the results needed based on goals and daily operations. Processes include steps as well as hand-offs.
  7. Reward the positive.  Reinforce accountability (be specific) when you hear it and see it by providing positive feedback.

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