When a strategy or a major initiative within an organization fails to deliver the desired results, it’s easy to get sucked into a blame game between the departments. However, the fault often lies in poor management and a weak link between the CEO and the front line employees. The poor delegation of work, micromanaging employees and not nurturing accountability are among the factors that can contribute to the lack of success of an organization.
It’s not the CEO’s job to make sure the front line employees understand what needs to be done — this is the accountability of the managers of the front line employees. However, there might be issues in relaying those accountabilities from the CEO to the front line that ultimately reflect badly at the customer interface, causing dissatisfaction. Let’s have a closer look at the importance of managerial leadership in organizations:
Accountability in a business setting is defined as the obligation of an individual in an organization to account for their activities, their results, and to disclose the these transparently. For managers, the concept of accountability is often and elusive employee trait that a person either possesses naturally or doesn’t.
However, accountability can be established and nurtured by effective managers. Setting clear expectations and goals for each member of the team is an excellent place to start. While it is not the CEO’s job to set clear accountability for front line workers, it is the CEO’s job to set clear accountability for each direct report. Each of the CEO’s subordinates must then set clear accountability for their subordinates. It is by each manager doing their managerial leadership work, starting at the top of the organization, that will ultimately create a full accountability structure within an organization.
There is no such this as an accountable organization – there is only an organization that has accountable employees! Once achieved, every individual including the newest front-line employee will understand what the organization needs them to deliver and to be accountable.
Effectively Delegating Work
The delegation of work is something that an organization needs to get right from the very top. The Owner or CEO is the first person within an organization that delegates work to subordinates, based on required outcomes and the ability of the person to do that work successfully. Tasks get delegated further down the organization, but this has to be done thoughtfully or an organization could find itself in trouble.
The key to effective work delegation further down is in the hands of the managers. They need to identify the lowest person in an organization that is capable of carrying out a given task. When organizations start assigning and delegating work this way, they need to ensure that the work is appropriately broken into tasks that are ‘right-sized’ in terms of complexity that are appropriate for the individual. By holding employees accountable for their work, effective managers can give them enough authority to carry out a task on their own. This eliminates both micromanagement and employee insecurity, ensuring that the work is done quickly and in the most effective way at each level of the organization, right down to the front line.
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