The Best Businesses All Do This

Acknowledge and celebrate employee success!

Isn’t the dream of every business owner to replace themselves in their business? I remember the first time my business made money while I was on vacation! You might say that is when you actually become a business – until then it was just a job.

The obvious key ingredient is surrounding yourself with good people. Then provide them with the right training, give them the tools they need to do the job, and celebrate their success!

And celebrate by holding them accountable!

I occasionally come across business owners who don’t hold their team accountable. There are many reasons that get in the way of celebrating a job well done. It is wonderfully rewarding to see the employees come to life when the barriers are removed!

I have a current client where both the owners and the team are thoroughly enjoying the rewards of rock-solid employee accountability – but it wasn’t always that way. We had to blow up a couple of barriers in the way first!

Barrier 1: The wrong perception of “accountability”

This barrier came up on a coaching call. There was a legitimate fear of holding people accountable, the last two times the owner tried it – the employee quit! When we explored this, it turns out the accountability was actually reprimanding the employees for doing a poor job – so they quit. Both times, the owner was then burdened with the task of finding and hiring a replacement.

These two painful experiences created a belief: 

Employee accountability = People will quit

This is an example of a real but self-limiting belief created through real-world painful experiences.

But what about when the rest of the team did a good job? The best and most productive use of employee accountability is to identify when your good people do their job well!

Good employees want to perform well. When everyone is held accountable, it provides positive feedback to the good employees that they are performing well. Once the owner understood this, the magic started happening with the rest of the team of good people!

Barrier 2: Lack of good gauges to measure performance.

Accountability is best provided with specific and timely measurement of performance. Your team needs to know at the end of each day or week how they did. The good employees typically have the personal goal of showing up to work and doing a good job every day. The accountability gauge should simply provide the feedback, within the determined time period, that they did a good job.

By the way, they don’t want to be micro-managed. Too often,  accountability efforts are perceived as micro-managing. Developing good management skills is a whole topic on its own, but communication is a big part of it. It’s about clearly communicated expectations along with effective listening to hear what the employees have to say.

When my client identified a performance issue, he asked them for their help. One employee came up with a suggested solution, and they went with it. Since the solution worked great, he made sure to acknowledge every time the new solution worked well. It is so much more enjoyable to acknowledge the 99 times everything goes well. If you skip that opportunity and wait for the problem to resurface, it turns into a negative communication.

For some reason, business owners tend to want employees to act like business owners. I believe what they actually mean is that they want them to be responsible. If your employees really wanted to act like business owners, they would become business owners themselves! That is not what employees want – they want the owner of the business to act like a business owner. They want the owners to help them do their job as best they can and then be acknowledged when they perform well.

You can also informally measure success with the workplace “vibe” – when work is going well for everyone, you can feel “vibe” of the good energy. And good energy breeds more good energy.

Here is my challenge to you:

Go seek out any or all team members who are doing their job well today. Observe them doing their job and then acknowledge their accomplishments. The best feedback is specific and immediate. Identify exactly what they did well. If they accomplished the three tasks they were supposed to complete that morning, acknowledge that they completed those three tasks.

Why not celebrate the positive?

We need more positive energy!

We need more fun!

Holding employees accountable means celebrating the positives. You will give them the simple pleasure of walking out of work at the end of the week knowing they did their job well. They will celebrate the accomplishment of their personal goals.

My client is now enjoying a great vibe in his workplace. It makes all the difference in the world. His team has made his business life so much more enjoyable too. Now new opportunities are showing up, and he has the confidence and energy to pursue them!

Business life is good!



Author: Paul Foster
Paul's life’s purpose is to bring more cash, freedom and happiness to independent business owners. Paul wants to learn about your toughest business challenges and frustrations so he can help you tackle them.

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