I once had a friend whose business motto was “the beatings will continue until morale improves.” It’s not surprising that he eventually closed his doors – that management style went out of fashion about a century ago, and it was never effective to begin with!
In business we’re always focused on accountability. Naturally, we want everyone to be doing their job correctly and to the highest possible standard, but how we get to that point matters. Sure, you can demand accountability from your employees, but a forced approach is almost certainly going to backfire. You want your employees to feel encouraged and engaged, not criticized, distracted, and likely looking for another job behind your back.
The first book I’m reading in 2020 is Inspiring Accountability in the Workplace by Elaina Noell. Noell is the founder of a management strategy consulting firm that utilizes neuroscience to empower leaders to design company cultures that increase employee engagement, productivity, and accountability. Essentially, her firm’s goal is to help businesses override old patterns to carve new pathways toward success.
The title of the book sparked my interest because traditional accountability models leave a lot to be desired. Leaders often feel frustrated and out of options when employees don’t live up to established standards, while the employees feel scolded, discouraged, and uninterested in trying any harder. In Elaina Noell’s system, on the other hand, a foundation of neuroscience and human dynamics helps inspire productivity and results. It’s a much more appropriate approach for the 21st century, and avoids a lot of unnecessary friction and damaging conflict between managers and employees.
So if you’re looking for the best way to implement a strong, healthy culture of accountability in your own business in 2020, I encourage you to read Noell’s book, or listen to it on Audible. The book’s toolkit is robust, and the strategies will pay dividends as we navigate a workforce that has many options in today’s economy.