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Accountability in Action

April 09, 2018

How keeping people connected pushes productivity.

We tend to think of accountability in quantitative terms: deadlines met, projects completed, performance targets hit. But accountability takes on more qualitative elements in a virtual workplace. Working on your own does not and should not mean working in isolation. Leaders therefore take on the role of connecting individuals, groups, and resources with one another. This allows everyone to feel plugged into the organization, knowledgeable about the project, and equipped and empowered to make decisions. So, what are the keys to instilling accountability into remote teams?

  • Redefine the way you think about—or at least measure—accountability. The traditional mindset of noting when employees arrive, how long they take for lunch, and what time they leave for the day is outmoded. And while technologies can monitor virtual employees’ activities in line with these standards, that’s a misuse of resources and a misplacement of priorities. Take a greater interest in results and outcomes, rather than what your team is doing on a day-to-day basis.
  • Develop managers’ ability to set benchmarks that contribute to feelings of individual achievement, not just completion of project deadlines. Remote employees, who value autonomy and are capable of meeting expectations outside a traditional office setting, are more likely to have equally individualized parameters for achievement and recognition.

Finally, to keep remote team members motivated and committed to the company, it’s essential to understand how they define job satisfaction.

Read the Managing a Distributed Workforce guide to learn how accountability can help bring remote teams together.

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