Holding Employees Accountable

A common question I get from Managers is, "How do I keep my employees more accountable to do their jobs....and for their behavior?"  Here are a few tips:

1. Have documentation:  It is essential that every employee has a written Job Description (outlining the duties of the position), an Employee Handbook (outlining benefits, time off, scheduling and specific expectations for the day-to-day activities and behaviors of all employees), Standard Operating Procedures (detailing how to do the various duties), a Performance Evaluation Form for regular reviews, a written Job Application Form, and an Organizational Chart that shows the chain-of-command to clarify where they are in the organization and to whom they are responsible.  Without these documents in writing, we have nothing to hold them accountable to.

2. Discipline consistently: When people notice that some employees can get away with arriving late, not completing their tasks, or doing mediocre work, the better employees will lose their initiative to do their best work.  Have a written Employee Handbook and stick to it with every employee.

3. Provide orientation and training in appropriate behaviors and attitudes, not just their production duties.

4. Act on poor attitudes, bad behavior and inappropriate actions immediately.  If we do not address behavioral issues immediately, our people will think that these behaviors are acceptable, or that the boss is inattentive--or worse--weak.

5. Be diplomatic, but firm.

6. Don't treat family members that are employees differently than hired employees in the workplace.  Have one set of rules for all employees, and expect family employees to follow those rules in the workplace.  If family members are significant owners, the differences between these owners and hired employees in time off, vacation time allowed, schedules and other benefits can be somewhat different, but should still be respectful of the expectations of the hired staff.

Don Tyler