Last week, our post discussed the gray areas that naturally occur when several people, or even departments, are involved in the same work or process or even decision. What often happens is finger pointing and blaming when the results you need aren’t achieved. We discussed the two steps that must be in place to ensure that your employees and team get past the finger pointing and get to ownership: gaining clarity and building accountability.
Gaining clarity through use of the RACI model is your first step. Remember the importance of involving the right people when you develop the RACI chart; those who have a role or stake in the work, process or decision. Directly involving those impacted people will help build accountability for using the RACI and, ultimately, the results.
Once you’ve got that clarity, there are ways to further build accountability for results. These are some of the most productive that we’ve found:
- Link the work to your mission, vision and goals. If the responsible employee or team understands how their work contributes to the larger organization, they will be more motivated to deliver good results and push through obstacles to deliver those results.
- Measure the gray area. If the gray area is important enough to warrant a RACI chart, it is probably important to establish metrics or specific objectives that will show whether or not the result is being achieved.
- Schedule reviews to evaluate results against the goal or objective. Make it an open process by reviewing and discussing actual results versus goals at team meetings.
- Give immediate feedback. Especially in reinforcing great results, including when people appropriately use the RACI chart. Too often we focus on the negatives. Positive feedback improves performance much more than negative feedback. If you need to address lack of performance, do it as soon as possible after you become aware.
- Don’t allow your employees to blame others. If the goals aren’t being achieved, remind them that they are the responsible person and that the lack of results is not acceptable for the organization (see the first bullet above). Then, support your employees in their work – ask what they need from you or others to be successful.
If you develop clarity with RACI, or through some other means, and then take the above steps to build accountability, you should eliminate finger pointing and blame and get to ownership by employees for their responsibilities, even those gray areas.
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