Engaged employees are good, but engaged employees who feel accountability and ownership towards their work are even better. What do you do if you have one without the other?
A new whitepaper by The Forum Corporation found the relationship between engagement and accountability is the lowest among middle managers today, across all levels.
First-line leaders are doing better at a ‘moderate’ level of relationship, while executives are close to the ‘high’ end of the relationship scale.
What this translates to, as explained in the whitepaper, is that middle managers may find themselves caught between the need to translate broad goals into action. and the shifts in priorities that occur after such plans are in motion – calling it a “rock and a hard place predicament”.
Managing performance of the individual more closely may help to close such a gap, as indicated by 45% of respondents as the most popular choice.
Close to one in three also recommended coaching as the second most popular solution.
The report also found that for the element of accountability to be considered important to a leadership role, it has to be linked to both individual and organisational performance.
Under individual performance, the three most important elements were: clarifying expectations (chosen by 80% of respondents), admitting mistakes despite the risk involved (70%), and getting support for required abilities and resources (65%).
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But how does one identify low sense of accountability in the first place? Skills gap were highlighted in the report as a surefire way to spot this.
Employees who reported lower levels of accountability were found to have the following three skill gaps: getting the required resources and abilities, advocating for a viewpoint which others disagree with, and getting others to accept an accountability they disagree with.
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