Why Do Small Business Owners Struggle With Accountability?

Why Do Small Business Owners Struggle With Accountability?

When I speak with small business owners, the conversation almost always comes round to the question, “How do I make my people accountable? The immediate response I make is “Tell them, measure them, then trust them.”

Now I know that is a big step, and is not an easy one, but trust is a critical part of the process. Let us examine this in a little more detail. We all by now know that accountability grows from a two way process.

i) The owner / manager must clearly define his expectations and delegate the required authority. This is the part of the equation which most owners do not do well. There are no job descriptions, to bench marks, no agreed goals, no definition of good performance;

ii) Measurement processes must be in place so that both the owner and the employee can determine if the expectations are being met. This is where we need to have some job costing process, some physical measurement which everybody understands. This does not have to be expansive nor a major chore, but it should be sufficient that both sides can agree when the performance is up to the mark.

The two requirements above sound grandiose but let me give you an example from the real world. A masonry contractor has a single prime metric of performance – brick counts. These vary by type of brick or block, but can be defined in reasonable completeness. So then you set up a reporting system which gathers details of counts and you can now hold your site supervisors accountable for achieving those numbers on an overall site basis, and they can hold their masons accountable for individual performance.

So now we turn to trust. If you have both the above requirements in place it is much easier to trust that all is well. If it were not so, your measurement will tell you. Now you don’t have to rush down to the job site every day, and those interminable cell phone calls, when you should be concentrating on your driving, become a thing of the past.

And a funny thing happened on your way to the golf course for the first time in years, your supervisors felt good. They know what they have to do, they know you know they are doing a good job, and they feel accountable not to let you down, and they most often wont. But if they do, you will soon know and be able to deal with it!

Source by Michael Davel Anderson
#Small #Business #Owners #Struggle #Accountability business coach

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