One of the biggest challenges team leads face is strengthening personal accountability of team members. This is critical in maintaining a healthy and productive work environment. As the team leader, you have the responsibility to ensure that everyone is accountable for their actions and the outcomes of their work. The following are four best practices we’ve gathered from leaders of elite wealth management teams:
- Set clear expectations: Start by establishing an expectation partnership with each team member. Although you’re directing this process, you want their buy-in. Be specific about the outcomes and behaviors that are expected. Ensure that each team member understands their responsibilities and what is expected.
- Encourage ownership: Encourage each team member to take ownership of their work. Emphasize that they are responsible for the success of their projects and the outcomes of their work. Empower them to think creatively and take risks, while also holding themselves accountable for the results.
- Provide feedback: Provide regular feedback to each team member personally. Let them know that you are inspecting what you expect by assessing how they are performing, what they are doing well, and if they need to improve – be specific regarding “what” and “how”. Reinforce how their role (daily activities) is linked to the team’s goals.
- Recognize achievements: Recognize your team members when they perform well. This can be as simple as a verbal acknowledgment during a team meeting or individually. If it’s a major accomplishment you might consider a formal recognition ceremony. Celebrating successes helps to reinforce the importance of personal accountability and encourages team members to continue to strive for excellence.
There is no magic formula for strengthening accountability in team members. That said, if someone isn’t pulling their weight, everyone is aware and not happy about it. Nobody likes to be working with a slacker. If this is left unattended by the team leader, morale within the team will suffer, which can lead to a toxic working environment. Ugh!!
Roll up your sleeves, establish an expectation partnership, and inspect what you expect.