One of the topics I talk about most with business owners is accountability. Each situation is different, but rarely do I have a client that doesn’t struggle with accountability at some point over the course of owning their business. One client right now has run a very successful company for over 48 years. But when I asked the CEO who was accountable for sales, she told me that the business had always been run with no one accountable for sales.
Recently, I was talking to a staffing firm and the CEO was accountable for everything. If no one else is accountable in an organization, then it all falls to the CEO.
And then sometimes there’s split accountability where two people are responsible for the same thing. When this happens, each person typically assumes that the other person is accountable for that area.
In an ideal world as a CEO or business owner, it’s really important that there be one person each accountable for the three main functions in a company: sales, operations, and finance.
Accountability is so critical in an organization because without it, execution suffers. Mistakes happen and it affects your ability to scale your business because you’re losing efficiency and effectiveness.
To help create accountability, each position/role should have a job description. Each of these areas should have a critical number in their particular area to focus on, as well as the one critical number overall. For example, the head of sales may have a certain dollar amount that they are striving to hit in sales per day. This contributes to the overall revenue goal or a certain net profit margin goal the company may have.
In the increasingly competitive market we face today, companies can no longer simply do things the way they’ve always been done. Accountability becomes a necessity in order to grow. If you’re lacking accountability, here are a few ways to help you get started:
- Lead by example, it starts with leadership.
- Set clear expectations. Employees can’t hold themselves accountable if they aren’t aware of what’s expected of them.
- Set achievable goals.
- Have frequent conversations.
- Provide feedback.
- Be considerate.
- Create an environment of trust.
With accountability, your employees know what’s expected of them and your company can better reach its goals and realize the business of your dreams.