Have you ever heard the argument that trust and accountability are opposites? From the outside looking in, trust and accountability could very well contradict one another and be the downfall – not backbone – of teamwork.
If trust is reliance on integrity, strength, and ability, then instilling trust means that we have confidence that our teammates will follow through with their projects and bring to the table the correct, complete components for the task at hand.
If we have this kind of trust, why is accountability necessary? Couldn’t the very idea of accountability weaken the trust that teammates have built?
“Why does she need to know what I am doing if she trusts me to get the job done?”
Therein lies the argument.
The truth is, trust and accountability go hand and hand -- they are not opposites. And while they aren’t synonymous, their concepts are complimentary.
Let’s go back to the word trust – reliance on integrity, strength, and ability. When you trust a team member, you are saying, “Here’s a project. I am giving it to you because I am confident you will get it done correctly and on time.”
But don’t mistake trust for expert knowledge. A team member may be fully capable of completing a project, but he may not necessarily have all the information off the top of his head. He may need to ask questions, do research or request input. Putting forth the effort to get the right information is part of the trust instilled in him.
And that’s where accountability comes in.
Holding a team member accountable for his work does not imply a lack of trust, but rather creates a checks-and-balances system for quality control. By periodically checking in, requesting status updates or noting milestones, team leaders allow for a two-way stream of information, gaining an understanding of the process and giving feedback on how to best complete the project. Team members can take pride in their work and will, in turn, become even more productive.
Executive Scheduling Associates takes great pride in the trust we put into our employees. Our comprehensive training program means that all our schedulers are trained in the same way, with the same expected outcomes. We trust that, when they begin to take on their own clients, our schedulers will provide the levels of service and integrity we’ve instilled from the beginning.
We also empower our employees with accountability. By regularly monitoring their activity progress, providing ongoing education, and checking in with clients, we give our schedulers the opportunity to shine by trusting them to work in the ways they have been trained and by rewarding them for their jobs well done.
We are proud to partner with our employees to bring out the best in our clients’ calendars.
Tell us about trust and accountability in your workplace in the comments below.