Taking steps to hold team members professionally accountable can be a challenge for many business leaders. Common causes include a fear of hurting an employees feelings, a concern that a hard discussion may decrease future productivity and uncertainty that replacing one team member with a new hire may result in a step backwards for the organization.
Rather than focus on the discomfort or fear of holding an employee accountable, take a look at the repercussions of letting an issue persist. For example, assume your favorite pro football team has 10 great offensive players, but the left tackle (Player #11) struggles to pass block. Here are a few of the obvious choices to address the problem faced by the coach:
Option 1: Do nothing. Lookout quarterback, you are going to get slaughtered!!
Option 2: Keep a star running back in to pass block
Option 3: Become a run only offense
Option 4: Try Player #11 in a different role knowing the last resort is…..”next man up”
By choosing option 1, 2 or 3, consider how the whole team is affected. The quarterback has trouble throwing the ball. The star running back is reduced to a pass blocker. And the offensive playbook becomes limited. All of these put consistent performance and winning in jeopardy.
Option 4, accountability and change, really is the only option if success and winning matters. The employees are tied to the leader of the business, so don’t delay hard discussions any longer than you have to.