Volume 49, Issue 5 - May 2014

Best Practices

Who’s Got the Power?
Employee Accountability Drives Company Success
by Richard Voreis

The theme of our discussions is how to be more successful in challenging times. I think the topic of top company priorities is so important that I want to return to the subject again. In all kinds of companies including subcontractors, architects, general contractors and building product manufacturers, I often find there are no annual company top priorities. Instead, employees are making their own assumptions on what is important to the success of the company. That means no one is on the same page and employee accountability is lacking.

"Employee empowerment without accountability can be a real problem."

Top Priorities
Does your company have annual top priorities? If not, do you think your company would benefit from formally establishing them? I can tell you without qualification that having top priorities will improve the performance of your company in sales, profits, etc. It gets everyone on the same page.

Employee Accountability
Does your company hold employees accountable for its success by establishing employee action plans (objectives) that are specific, measurable and time framed? If not, the owner or president of the company is the only one being held accountable and I don’t think that’s any way to run a company. Everyone from the top to the bottom of the organization should be accountable for results.

Action Plans
Does your company have employee action plans (objectives) supporting its top priorities (goals)?

If not, do you think your company would benefit by formally establishing those objectives in support of its top priorities?

The topic we’ve been talking about in the recent articles deserves more emphasis. In that regard, I have two more very important questions for you to think about:

• Is employee accountability in your company a strength or a weakness?

• Are your employees empowered to do their jobs?

Employee empowerment is a hot topic today and certainly is important in today’s business environment. Without accountability within the organization, however, the owner or president ends up being the only one held accountable.

I don’t think this is the right way to run a business and, hopefully, you also agree.

Superior performers want to be empowered to do their jobs and don’t want the boss looking over their shoulders. The poorer performers don’t want to be accountable and don’t want the boss looking over their shoulders either. Employee empowerment without accountability can be a real problem. The most effective way to have both employee empowerment and employee accountability is to make sure your company has stated annual goals and employee objectives supporting those goals.

Here are some questions to consider:

• Does your company establish annual goals that are communicated to all employees?

• Does your company have employee objectives that support the company’s annual goals?

• If so, are your employee objectives specific, measurable and time framed?

• Are the employee objectives in writing and are they incorporated into the performance appraisal process as well as into the compensation plans?

This is a short, but very important article, so give it some very serious thought.

If your response to many questions I’ve asked was essentially “no” your company needs to change. My consulting firm works with dozens of glass and glazing subcontractors on a continuing basis to help them change and realize accountability for both management and staff in making the company succeed. In the process, we learn industry “best practices” and we share them with our clients. We always recommend a one-page top priority plan to ensure employee accountability and drive great results. It really works.

I’d like to hear from you on these important initiatives in running a highly successful business. Do you have some questions for me? How can we help you?

Richard Voreis is the founder and CEO of Consulting Collaborative in Dallas. His column appears bi-monthly. Email him at rdvoreis@consulting-collaborative.com and read his blog on Wednesdays at http://dollarsandsense.usglassmag.com.

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