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May 31, 2019

Be Accountable Even if You Aren’t Responsible

As a manager or leader, your staff or coworkers may make promises, take actions, or make mistakes that cause problems—problems that youneed to handle. While you are not responsible for the action that caused the problem, you are accountable as the manager to resolve it and make the customer happy.

30365778 – hello i am accountable words on a name tag sticker showing you accept responsibility or blame for a problem

  1. Start by assessing the situation.
    • What is causing the problem?
    • Was a mistake made?
    • What promise was made?
  2. Let the customer know that you will respond to the problem within a reasonable period of time.
  3. Identify what you reasonably can do to resolve the problem for the customer.
  4. Whom do you need to speak with in order to handle the issue?
  5. Do you need to involve your manager? If so, be prepared to propose a solution. Never go to your manager with a problem; go with a solution to a problem!
  6. Evaluate your options and decide the best course of action to take.
  7. Let the customer know your decision and explain how it was arrived at. Offer some kind of compensation to the customer, if appropriate.

After the issue is resolved, meet with the employee to determine how the problem occurred and coach the employee to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Establish clear goals, expectations, and ownership for every staff member and make sure employees know what they are accountable for achieving.  Determine if your team members have enough autonomy to make decisions without your intervention and give them the tools they need to do so.

See my blog post How Accountable Is Your Team?

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