Here’s a powerful model to adopt in your company: The PEACH Accountability Model™
Do you get frustrated because your leaders are not getting the most from their teams or are not good at keeping them on track? Do you find some of your leaders hold people accountable but “Rule with an iron fist” and act in conflict with the culture you want to create? Training leaders the best way to hold people on their teams accountable will support the culture you want and improve your team’s output and results.
Accountability is accepting responsibility for your actions. The leadership role here is to define desired actions and behavior, like treating people with respect or completing a project on time. If someone doesn’t treat their co-worker (or worse the customer!) in a respectful manner, you have an opportunity to develop that person and help them modify their behavior. If they don’t complete their project on time, you have the responsibility to make it clear to them that they missed the boat – otherwise you risk other projects being completed late, too.
Before we get into the PEACH Accountability Model™, see if this situation is familiar to you.
A Common Situation
Pretend at your Monday morning staff meeting you assigned an employee to conduct a review by Friday noon of alternative software solutions that you might implement in your company. By Friday they hadn’t completed their review. They instead shared how busy they were through the week, including their role in trouble-shooting an unexpected problem that took all day Wednesday to address. Bottom line: they didn’t complete what you asked.
- Tell them it’s OK, they can have another week
- Yell at them and make them feel your pain and frustration
- Tell them you want the report on your desk Monday morning or they’re fired
- Ignore the fact that it isn’t done, or that you even made the assignment in the first place
I would suggest none of these options are very good choices when you’re building a high-performing team. Yet, people tend to play on the extremes of avoiding conflict altogether (choices a or d) or coming down forcefully (choices b and c). While it’s not OK that the report wasn’t completed, it’s your job to develop your team and reshape their actions so they deliver the results you want, in the way you want.
The PEACH Accountability Model™ for Leaders
Here’s a powerful model I created to help you remember different elements of holding people accountable that will make you more effective, get your team to respond, and get you’re the results you want
- P – Participation
- E – Expectations
- A – Ask for Updates
- C – Check Results
- H – Help if Needed
When your employees are engaged in setting goals for your team and in defining the actions that need to take place, it’s easier for them to appreciate the importance of each action in the large context. They may even volunteer to own the action steps. They will certainly have more ownership than if you handed them a seemingly random assignment from a meeting they didn’t attend or know about. Engage your team early and often.
It almost goes without saying that you need to set clean expectations, but how often does a leader forget this important step. Write it down – who will do what by when. Written expectations are easy to communicate and hard to dispute.
Ask for Updates
For any request that will take longer than a week, ask for a status update so you can be confident that your team member is on track and will deliver quality work, on time. This could be a formal meeting, or a quick “how’s it going” call. Either way, your request for an update reinforces that this is important to you and will raise this higher up the priority scale for your team member.
You are asking your team member to deliver results, not just work hard. This is why you want to review their results so that you are not mistaking their efforts for progress. While they may indeed work their butt off, you still want to confirm the results you expect accompany their efforts. If not, it’s time to dive deeper and help make adjustments to their approach.
Help if Needed
As a leader, you have the responsibility to pave the way for your team to be successful. This could be to provide resources, remove blockages, share ideas, etc. If you discover when you check results that progress is off track, your first move is to see how you can support your employee rather than getting mad at them or the situation.
Pull it all together
This is an iterative approach to accountability. You might find that you need to re-set expectations depending on the results and the amount of help required. Sometimes you get other team members involved, and other times you simply ask, “when do you commit to having this complete?” and then hold them to meet their commitment. Just as business is dynamic with constantly changing variables, so is your leadership and your application of this model.
Know this: when you follow the PEACH Accounability Model™, you increase the chances of successful results. Plus, your team will appreciate your leadership style. Experiment with this process as you delegate to your team and notice how they respond to the different phases of PEACH.
Training Your Leadership Team
The best way to get your leadership team to follow this model is to have a simple training session where you lay out the phases of PEACH, and then actually use the model as you train them.
- Participation is where you share the model with them in a brief training session.
- Expectations is where you describe that you want them to use this model as they lead their teams.
- Ask for updates is for you to check in with them over the next few weeks and have them give you examples where they are using the model.
- Check results in this case is that you confirm they are using the model correctly, but you can also ask them to tell you of their success stories.
- Help if needed is where you jump in to guide any leader who is having a struggle implementing the model with their teams.
Lastly, be a mentor and lead by example. As you have assignments that you want to hold your leaders accountable to delivering, be sure to use the PEACH Accountability Model™ and demonstrate through these real examples how it looks to follow the process.
Have fun as you get your team to achieve more!