Management Tips: 3 Ways to Make Employees More Accountable

In his famous book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey gave us one of the kitschiest little management tips of all time:

“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”

The more effectively you can manage your employees, the better your business will run. And it rarely comes down to how much money you pay them — hardly ever in fact.

If your employees feel duty-bound to you; exuding a desperation to please by doing whatever it takes to get the job done right. They’ll always work well into the twilight hours to secure that big contract that’ll take the company to the next level — or whatever it is you need them to do.

Heck, if you’re doing it right, they might just ask to pay you for the privilege of working for you! Though not likely.

Continue reading the following 3 management tips to learn how to get more respect and accountability from your employees.

Employee Management Tips

1. Make sure their idea of a successful outcome is the same as yours.

Leaders are doomed to feel let down if they’re expecting a different outcome from a company initiative than their employees are. You have to get your own expectations set in stone before handing the reigns over to them and expecting them to accurately intuit what you’re looking for.

Failing to do so is a double-edged sword: You’ll be disappointed, of course and when you show that disappointment (in whatever way you normally express this emotion) then they’ll be disappointed. The employee’s loyalty score will inevitably wane and they’ll grow tired of trying to “guess” what outcomes you’re looking for.

2. Always ask them for immediate feedback/clarification after assigning tasks.

This is essential. Not just so that you can feel good about your communication with employees and be confident they know what you want. But also so you can identify dead weight early, fix their mindset and/or get rid of them if they can’t get it right. Make it known to your employees that you don’t employ people who listen passively when you’re talking, then bumble off to their desk and try to figure out what the heck you just told them to do.

Create the expectation from your subordinates that they must reiterate (paraphrase, summarize, etc.) what you’ve just told them, in their own words — every time. Give them a smile and positive encouragement when they got it right. When they don’t, politely correct them, but make sure to keep an eye on those who’re always coming away with the wrong message.

Management Tips
Image Credit: SweetLabs/Flickr

3. Bottle up your anger when you’re let down by an employee.

Oh, if I could see some of your faces after reading that sub-head! “Bottle up my anger, Chad? Are you off your rocker? Isn’t that the opposite of what every management guru to ever lived would say?” Yes, it is. I’m just trying to be cutesy here! You do need to bottle your anger up when you’re let down; from the minute you find out, right up until they’ve had a chance to explain themselves, one way or the other. Leaders who seek reasons in a cool, calm manner have lower blood pressure and happier, more loyal employees.

You can’t just fly off the handle because things don’t go your way. There’s no way to extract more loyalty from people when you’re perceived as a hot-head. They’ll just learn to be nice to your face while making obscene gestures toward you when your back’s turned.

Remember, the whole goal we’re trying to achieve here is better management that will lead to amazing employees who have a strong sense of duty toward you and your endgame. Explain to them, once again, the outcome you were looking for and where you’ve determined things went wrong, then ask them for their input. It might have been an innocent mistake, you may have changed your mind without telling them, they might have got it all wrong…

Any awesomely effective management tips of your own you’d like to share with the rest of us?

Feel free to leave a comment telling us what management tips you’ve used successfully to instill more loyalty and get better results form your employees.

Let’s get a conversation going!

Main Image Credit: Michigan Municipal League/Flickr