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Make Flexible Work Schedules Possible With Accountability Training

The freedom of a flexible work schedule is more than fluff and flourish on job descriptions. Today’s professionals are serious about working remotely and breaking away from the traditional 9-to-5 rigidity. Companies can use these highly sought-after commodities to attract and retain top talent. Plus, offering remote status and flexible hours can help your company expand your global workforce and enhance employee satisfaction.

There’s just one catch: How can you be sure your flexible team members are performing at the level you expect? The answer is that it all comes down to accountability.

You must enforce a culture of accountability in which you can trust employees to uphold their promises and stay on top of their responsibilities even if they aren’t in the office each day. When people understand how their daily tasks contribute to the advancement of the company’s purpose and priorities, they feel personally invested in their job – despite where or when they’re doing the work they’ve been assigned. And the more engaged they are, the more likely they’ll be to perform well.

When you increase accountability, you can maintain employee engagement and trust that your team can thrive with flexible work schedules.

Assessing the current state of accountability training in the workplace

Fostering accountability can be difficult for even large companies with seemingly unlimited resources to achieve. However, initiating flexible work schedules can be risky without it. We met with a CEO who put it this way: “We’ve been working for years on getting our people to take accountability for results, but we can’t get it to stick. And now we’ve got a third of our workforce working remotely or in some sort of flex-work arrangement.”

In our Global Workplace Accountability Study, we surveyed 40,000 employees spanning a broad range of industries. The results revealed that only 24 percent of those employees can link what they do each day to the organization’s key results. Considering those are the deliverables that are most vital for company success, such a low percentage puts a significant damper on companywide performance. What’s more, 74 percent of respondents admitted that their organization’s key results are not clearly understood or actively pursued throughout the company.

These findings are particularly troubling for companies with remote and flexible employees who, without daily reminders in the workplace, are largely responsible for generating their own sense of accountability. If said employees are responsible for leading teams, they’re in charge of instilling a commitment to key results among their team members. With a trickle-down effect at play, a strong and consistent culture of accountability is unlikely to develop.

Investing in accountability training

To increase accountability in the workplace, companies should start with definitions. Make sure all team members understand the difference between accountability and responsibility. We practice “The Oz Principle” definition of accountability, which is “a personal choice to rise above one’s circumstances and demonstrate ownership necessary for achieving desired results.”

Once everyone understands what it means to be accountable, leaders must develop and communicate crystal-clear desired results for employees to work toward. From there, they should also create a common language and open framework for discussing accountability. For instance, when employees feel ineffective or unsure how to proceed, encourage them to ask themselves the following questions:

  • What do I need to see? What reality am I not acknowledging?
  • What must I own? How am I contributing to the problem and/or solution?
  • How can I solve the problem? What else can I do?
  • What can I do to make more progress? What do I need to do, by when and with whom?

With the right training program, you can increase accountability and enhance engagement among your workforce. As the pioneers of accountability training, our workshops can help you clearly define and communicate your key results. From there, we’ll help align your team around delivering those results through an understanding of how each individual contributes to the cause. We can also help you close performance gaps and build a workplace culture that yields better results.

Creating results and shaping change

Accountability should be woven into the daily activities of every individual within your organization, regardless of how, where or when they work. Those who feel a deep sense of personal commitment to the success of the team and organization as a whole also have the conviction to get things done. Better yet, they’ll complete their tasks in a timely and efficient manner that suits their schedule without causing issues for other team members.

At the end of the day, being able to confidently hold people accountable allows you to grant perks like remote and flexible work schedules without worrying about kinks in the process. If you need help fostering a culture of accountability, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for consulting and training services.

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