Creating Accountability in the Workplace by Asking Two Simple Questions

It is estimated that lack of accountability costs the nation’s employers in the billions of dollars each year. As leaders and managers, it is our duty and reponsibility to guide employees to be more accountable. Try asking the following two questions the next time there’s an incident.

Say you observe an employee demonstrating an inappropriate behavior — for instance, being abrupt with a customer. Ask that employee the following accountibility question:

So that I have a good handle on what just happened, can you tell me how your recent action supports our core beliefs in this organization?”

OK, assuming that the employee can acknowledge that his or her behavior was not professional, follow up with this question:

Explain to me what you’ll do differently to ensure this doesn’t happen again — how are you going to be more accountable?”

There you have it. By asking these two questions, you’ll be able to determine if your employee is in alignment with your expectations — to create an environment of workplace accountability. Listen for your employee’s commitment and receptivity to change. If these factors are not present, it’s time to take the appropriate action now so you can avoid problems repeating themselves in the future.

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Paul Cherry

For over two decades, sales expert and author PAUL CHERRY has helped B2B sales professionals close more deals in all major industries. As a recognized thought leader in customer engagement strategies, Paul Cherry has been featured in more than 250 publications, including Investor’s Business Daily, Selling Power, Inc., Sales & Marketing Management, The Kiplinger Letter, and Salesforce.

Performance Based Results

Paul Cherry is the president of Performance Based Results. PBR delivers intense, customized sales team training programs and sales management coaching to companies throughout North America. Paul has worked with more than 1,200 organizations, including 175 of the Fortune 500, plus more than a thousand entrepreneurial, small to mid-sized, cutting-edge businesses looking to dominate their niche markets. Clients typically get 7 times their return-on-investment (ROI) or better.

Questions That Sell

Paul Cherry’s top-rated bestseller, Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants (AMACOM) has been listed on BookAuthority’s “100 Best Sales Books of All Time” and has been published in four languages. He is also the author of Questions That Get Results (Wiley) and The Ultimate Sales Pro (HarperCollins Leadership).