Keeping Employees Accountable for Results: Quick Tips for Busy Managers [NOOK Book]


All managers want to hold their employees accountable for results, but few know how. Moving beyond the far-from-ideal annual performance review -- which only evaluates what has already occurred, and not what the manager wants to achieve -- Keeping Employees Accountable for...
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Keeping Employees Accountable for Results: Quick Tips for Busy Managers

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All managers want to hold their employees accountable for results, but few know how. Moving beyond the far-from-ideal annual performance review -- which only evaluates what has already occurred, and not what the manager wants to achieve -- Keeping Employees Accountable for Resultscontains checklists, how-tos, and other tools to manage performance on an ongoing basis. The book gives busy managers quick, step-by-step advice on:

* Setting expectations
* Monitoring progress
* Giving feedback
* Following through

Light on theory and heavy on practical application, Keeping Employees Accountable for Results gives time-pressed managers the proven, practical information they need to help their people accomplish more."
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An excellent primer. The format is user-friendly and packed with guidance not often provided in similar activity resources."

— Lee Smedley, Training Media Review

"A simple way to build teams by engaging participants in learning about themselves and their team players"

-Shirley Copeland, Ed.D, The Facilitator

"Everything is explained so that the exercises can be led by laymen or professionals." - The Midwest Book Review

"...practical book gives supervisors,managers[…]variety of team-boosting exercises,all of which can be implemented with no special facilities,big expense,or previous training experience." - Clinical Leadership & Management Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814429020
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 1/20/2006
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 442,444
  • File size: 993 KB

Meet the Author

Brian Cole Miller is the principal of Working Solutions, Inc., a management training and consulting firm whose clients include FranklinCovey, Nationwide Insurance, and the UPS Store. He is the author of the best-selling Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers (0-8144-7201-X) and Keeping Employees Accountable for Results (0-8144-7320-2).
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Read an Excerpt

Keeping Employees Accountable for Results

By Brian Cole Miller


Copyright © 2006 Brian Cole Miller
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8144-7320-2


The SIMPLE Approach to Accountability

This book is written for the busy manager who wants to maximize employee and team productivity through accountability.

The principles in the book are not exclusively for the busy manager, however. Anyone can use them with a boss, peers, vendors, consultants, and business partners. You can even apply them outside the job. Use them to hold contractors, lawyers, designers, community leaders, mechanics, your teenagers, and just about anyone else in your life accountable.

While this book includes a process, several pieces can be used separately. For example, providing feedback is useful in many other day-to-day activities. Praise your son's success in school, recognize your niece's efforts in her lacrosse game, or complain to a restaurant manager about poor service.

What You Can Expect from This Book

Heavy on application, light on theory, this book focuses on how-tos. It includes steps, tips, and examples throughout. You'll learn what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. What you won't find is a lot of theory. I've included just enough to validate the how-tos but not enough to make you an expert on the subject. Busy managers don't have time for that. "Just give me what I need to get thejob done!" is what I hear most from my clients, whether large or small, for-profit or not-for-profit.

In each chapter here's what you'll see (and not see):

Lots of examples. Wherever possible I've shown one or more examples of the particular step or point. Most of them are from real companies or real-life experiences.

Some theory, but not a lot. I've included just enough to help the steps make sense, and to justify their order.

Not every possibility is covered. If it were, this book would be several volumes long. I've covered the most common circumstances. If yours are different, either ask someone for help (you can call me at Working Solutions) or get one of those long, drawn-out books.

An easy-to-read format. It highlights the basics so that you can easily skim past stuff you already know.

Details when you need them. You can delve deeper when you want more specifics and go right back to a higher level when you've had enough.

A conversational style. It's simple and makes for a quick read.

The SIMPLE Approach to Accountability

Accountability is a process that consists of six principles. Each principle builds on the previous one.

S - Set Expectations. Your employees need to know what is expected of them before you can hold them accountable for anything. You can't assume they know what is supposed to be done, when, or to what quality level. The more clearly you set expectations and goals up front, the less time you will waste later clarifying-or worse, arguing-about what was really expected.

I - Invite Commitment. Just because your employees know what to do doesn't mean they will do it. After they understand what the goals and expectations are, they need to commit to achieving them. They are more likely to do this when they buy in to two things: how the goals will benefit them personally, and how the goals will help move the organization forward. When this connection is made, they will commit to the goals. They will welcome your holding them accountable for their results.

M - Measure Results. You need information to hold your employees accountable. You will measure their performance so that you can gauge whether they've met the goals and expectations that they committed to. Goals aren't measurable unless they are quantifiable, and all goals can be made quantifiable. Measure the results and compare them to your employees' goals to find the gaps that require further attention.

P - Provide Feedback. Share the information you've gathered with your employees. Feedback doesn't solve problems by itself. It opens the door for problem-solving discussions and follow-up actions. Your employees cannot do a good job without feedback, and they certainly can't improve without it. Most of the time, giving feedback is all it takes. Setting expectations followed by quality feedback is the backbone of holding someone accountable for results.

L - Link to Consequences. Sometimes your employees will need a little more help to live up to their commitments. When they struggle to reach their goals, you can help them by administering appropriate consequences. Don't confuse consequences with punishments, though. Punishments are inflicted on employees to make them pay for their shortcomings. They do not contribute to a solution. Consequences, however, will guide and focus employees' behavior and encourage them to take their commitments more seriously.

E - Evaluate Effectiveness. After you have worked with the principles of accountability for a while, you need to evaluate how your efforts have paid off. Determine if you were successful at holding your employees accountable to reach the goals that were set. And in the spirit of continuous improvement, review how you handled the process. Find ways to be more effective at applying the principles of accountability. Hold yourself accountable for holding others accountable!

Each chapter covers one principle of SIMPLE. Each principle is divided into several how-to steps. Each step is presented in the same easy-to-read (and even easier-to-skim) format:

THE STEP describes what the step is in one sentence.

THE REASONS section explains why the step is important.

THE BASICS section covers the highlights of how to do the step or the essentials to keep in mind while doing it.

THE DETAILS section delivers all the background information about the step, substeps, examples, variations of the step, and things to be cautious about.

At the end of each chapter is a CHECKLIST that will give you the highlights of what is covered in that chapter. Use this to make sure you understand all the main points before moving on.

How to Use This Book

This book is organized so that you can readily get as much or as little information as you want. You can skim at a high level without missing the essentials. Just read the Steps, Reasons, and Basics in each chapter. When something grabs your attention, it is easy to dive deep into the Details right there.

Examples are spread throughout the book. They are displayed in a way that makes it easy to pick them out quickly. Generally, they illustrate the point being made in the text preceding them.

There is a long example at the end of Chapter 2. It shows the conclusion of all the work done in chapters 1 and 2. The other long example is at the end of Chapter 5. This one demonstrates how several steps in chapters 4 and 5 might be used together in a real-life situation.

This book is written as a process, but several pieces of that process can stand alone. For example, you can apply the principles of SMART goals to business planning, project management, employee development planning, personal goal setting, succession planning, and more.

This book will not help you much with your superstars. If you want to manage your superstars better, get a book about rewards and recognition. That said, is this book all about problem employees? Not really. Sure, you will learn how to deal with those problem employees. But more important, this book is about helping you set your employees up for success so that none of them ever becomes a problem employee!

This book outlines an ideal process that may not always jibe with the real world you live in. I recognize this and realize that you may not be able to follow every step presented here. I considered trying to anticipate every possible contingency and addressing it. Rather, I chose to trust that you wouldn't have the title "manager" if you didn't already know how to adapt or go with something that was less than a perfect fit.

Use the steps as a model or a pattern to follow when they make sense for you. Adjust your approach when they don't pertain. I have confidence that you, Busy Manager, can take what is relevant and use that to become an even better manager.


Excerpted from Keeping Employees Accountable for Results by Brian Cole Miller Copyright © 2006 by Brian Cole Miller. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: The SIMPLE Approach to Accountability 1
Chapter 1 Set Expectations 7
Step 1 Determine what your organization wants to accomplish 7
Step 2 Determine what part of your organization's success is your team's responsibility 13
Step 3 Determine what part of your team's results you will hold each individual accountable for 14
Step 4 Determine who should write your employees' goals 16
Step 5 Use SMART to define each employee's responsibilities with goals that are Specific 19
Step 6 Use SMART to define each employee's responsibilities with goals that are Measurable 22
Step 7 Use SMART to define each employee's responsibilities with goals that are Action-oriented 26
Step 8 Use SMART to define each employee's responsibilities with goals that are Realistic 29
Step 9 Use SMART to define each employee's responsibilities with goals that are Time-bound 32
Checklist: Set Expectations 35
Chapter 2 Invite Commitment 37
Step 1 Be prepared to explain to your employees why their goals exist 37
Step 2 Be prepared to explain to your employees what is in it for them if they reach their goals successfully 39
Step 3 Get ready for your discussion about goals with your employees 46
Step 4 Present or discuss the goals with your employees 49
Step 5 Seek buy-in or commitment to the goals 52
Step 6 Document their agreement to meet their goals in a Performance Plan 57
Example: Performance Plan 59
Checklist: Invite Commitment 63
Chapter 3 Measure Results 65
Step 1 Make sure the measurement tools you use are efficient 65
Step 2 Make sure the measurement tools you use are fair 67
Step 3 Make sure the measurement tools you use are simple 69
Step 4 Use and share the data as soon as it is available 71
Step 5 Implement the measurement tools and gather the data 72
Step 6 Compare the actual results you measured to the goals 74
Step 7 Identify the organization's gain or loss due to your employees' actions 75
Checklist: Measure Results 77
Chapter 4 Provide Feedback 79
Step 1 Motivate yourself to offer feedback 79
Step 2 Determine when to deliver your feedback 82
Step 3 Set the stage for a positive interaction 83
Step 4 Be specific about what you observed 84
Step 5 Focus on the behavior or action, not the person or attitude 89
Step 6 Never use the word but 92
Step 7 Explain the impact on the organization 94
Step 8 Understand your employees' perspectives 96
Step 9 Offer a suggestion, if appropriate 98
Checklist: Provide Feedback 104
Chapter 5 Link to Consequences 107
Step 1 Determine what consequence(s) should apply 107
Step 2 Remind your employee of his prior commitment 109
Step 3 Spell out what action you will take and why 111
Step 4 Own the action you are taking 114
Step 5 Agree on a specific action plan 116
Step 6 Set a follow-up date and stick to it 119
Step 7 Offer your support 121
Step 8 Document the discussion 123
Example: Link to Consequences Discussion 125
Example: Link to Consequences Documentation 128
Checklist: Link to Consequences 129
Chapter 6 Evaluate Effectiveness 131
Step 1 Hold yourself accountable for what you accomplished 131
Step 2 Hold yourself accountable for how you accomplished it 132
Index 137
About the Author 145
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2006

    Step-by-step primer for first-time managers

    If you¿re about to become a manager for the first time and don¿t have a clue about how to get your direct reports to do what you want them to do, use this book as a step-by-step primer. It explains what to say, when to say it and how to follow up. It teaches you why meeting and connecting with employees individually is so important if you want to keep them accountable and get results. Author Brian Cole Miller¿s advice will help you develop your coaching skills. It will also save you a lot of headaches if you¿re struggling with problem employees. Miller shows you how to work with difficult employees in a way that is supportive, yet puts the ownership of results squarely on the employee¿s shoulders - where it belongs. If you¿ve just promoted someone to manager, or if you are a new manager, we suggest that you make this book a part of your on-the-job training and development curriculum.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2006

    Even better than his first book for busy managers

    This is fantastic. Miller uses the same style from his first book (also good¿Quick Team-building Activities for Busy Manager) and applies it to something much more important: holding your employees accountable. The book is organized so well for the busy manager, that it¿s almost more like an outline than a traditional book¿it¿s easy to breeze through it, gleaming the points you need, glossing over stuff you already know (and not fear that you¿re not missing anything). BUT, you can also dive deep into detail whenever you want it, or learn from the many examples provided. The steps here are concrete and logical. The flow makes sense¿you learn quickly that this is not rocket science¿or is it just that Miller knows how to make things seem simple, so the average manager ¿gets¿ it and can do it? Like he warns in the intro, there¿s not a whole lot of theory here¿just the how-to steps with examples and checklists of how to apply them, and then just enough theory to support them without ever bogging you down. If you accept that up front, you wont miss the theory (which weighs down most other books on this subject, anyway). You¿ll just appreciate the simple process (which is cool, since he was able to make his 6 step process fit an acronym SIMPLE). If you need some help on holding your employees accountable, and you just need the quick and dirty ¿just tell me how to do it!¿ version, this is the book for you! A quick read, to the point, well organized. Miller packs a lot of punch into very few pages. A great resource for the harried manager who wants some help, but quick.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2006


    I had a big 'Aha!' when I read this book. It's an easy-to-use, practical guide for anyone who has to keep track of other people's responsibilities. Great tips for being clear about expectations and for follow up and follow through! The SIMPLE method is so intuitive that it doesn't feel like a chore but a natural way of operating.

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