Ten company-sabotaging employees
We all know what it’s like to be promised, “I’ll get back to you on that question,” only to never hear another word. Likewise, we’ve all dealt with colleagues who draft off of others’ achievements, salespeople who don’t stand behind their products when the crap hits the fan, and bosses who pass the buck far more often than they stop it. Chances are, when you come across these situations in your daily life, you chalk them up to customer service slip-ups, leadership breakdowns, personnel issues, and poor communication.
But according to Julie Miller and Brian Bedford, you can actually trace these problems back to something much more granular but no less serious: a lack of accountability.
“When employees behave with a lack of accountability, their actions hurt your bottom line, whether that’s through low personal productivity, negatively affecting morale, alienating coworkers and customers, or something else,” said Miller, coauthor with Bedford of Culture Without Accountability—WTF? What’s the Fix? “The good news is, if you’re vigilant and proactive, you can catch and handle these accountability issues before they grow into ‘customer service problems,’ ‘leadership breakdowns,’ and so on,” she said.
“If you’re a leader, it’s your job to hold your people responsible for what they do and don’t do,” Bedford noted. “That means rewarding behaviors that help your company grow and promptly addressing those actions and habits that have a more negative impact. Don’t wait for something to go majorly wrong to do damage control. Remember, accountability is built or broken in the day-to-day.”
In Culture Without Accountability—WTF? What’s the Fix?, Miller and Bedford examine what can happen when businesses, teams, families, and individuals shirk accountability. Here, they share ten types of accountability-sabotaging employees to watch out for:
The cavalier promise maker. We’ve all dealt with this person. “I’ll make sure I get back to you tomorrow.” “The product will be delivered by Thursday.” “Of course we can handle that order volume.” …Do these comments sound familiar? For the cavalier promise maker, it’s easy to promise someone the moon (especially if that promise makes the speaker look good!), but follow-through is a different story entirely.