Episode 8 - Creating a Culture of Accountability

Hi everybody! Karl Diffenderfer here with Higher Impact. It’s great to see all of you. I just wanted to share a little bit with you today something that actually worked through real-time with the client today, and this is going to make a major impact in their business once we start to execute these things inside their business, and, so here’s the concept— “Creating a culture of accountability.”

Now the first thing you have to do when you’re creating a culture of accountability is to believe that you can actually change the future of your business. A lot of people get stuck, they just feel like –oh man, I could never do this. How would I ever regain control of this in my business, and so accountability is a tough one, it really is, because people will walk all over you right? They’ll take advantage of you, they’ll do what they want to do when they want to do it. In this case, the client that I was talking to today, their issue was that they had employees that were just constantly breaking the rules in their employee handbook. For example, one of the things was that the employees would stop at Wawa every day and get their coffee and do their thing and really just waste time on the clock of the company. Well, I understand that you want to be generous with your employees if you have 50-some employees and they do that every day. Well, that could become very costly to you as a company, but also it creates this environment where if one person does it another person does it and so before you know it you have a whole bunch of people breaking all these little rules that eventually add up.

So, how do we create accountability inside of a company? Well, the first thing is that you have to have the mindset of calling people up to a greater version of themselves, and the concept behind this is that there is no such thing, I’m going to say this again, there is no such thing as Stasis. There’s no such thing as people being on cruise control, it doesn’t exist, you’re either getting better or you’re getting worse. What is it for you?

First, let me share a story with you, so I was about 10 years old and my dad was a business consultant. Believe it or not, here I am today, I do the same thing, and so as a consultant, he came home one day and he was coaching this rather large company and he met with the business owner that day and the business owner said to him, “Mark, you’re going to go fire this employee. ”My dad said, “Whoa, whoa, what’s going on?” and so he asked some questions and he said, “Well, first let me go meet with this person, so my dad went and met with the person and the person said, “Oh my word, this business owner is driving me nuts.” Now, the business owner had said the same thing, so they both were kind of coming at each other and so my dad began to dig into it and he dug deeper and deeper and came to realize that everything that the employee was frustrated about was exactly what the business owner was frustrated with the employee about, and so here it was there were these things that the business owner was doing and the employee was also doing them. They were both unreliable with their commitments, so both of them were doing it and my dad went back to the business owner and he said, “Hey, I won’t fire this person.” That’s a bold move. You potentially could lose your Consulting gig with that kind of situation but in that instance, he said to the business owner, he said, “This problem is actually something that you’re teaching your employees.” So, with a Culture of accountability, if somebody’s doing something that frustrates you let me first ask you to pause and say, “Okay, how am I doing this myself.” How are you exhibiting that same behavior, maybe it’s different, maybe it’s tweaked a little bit, maybe you have to open your eyes to look at it –I don’t know, but it’s there I guarantee it because they’re just following your lead, so you have to first with accountability, you have to first say “okay, how am I hurting this situation.” Now, maybe it’s that you’re enabling them, maybe you’ve allowed them to get away with small things over and over and over and not hold them accountable, maybe you’re afraid to talk to them, maybe you’re just such a nice person that you’re just like –I don’t want to be mean, I don’t want to, I don’t– you know and you struggle with that. Whatever it is, it’s your job to begin to instill this culture of accountability that we’re talking about today.

Now, the next part with all of this is that you yourself have to be called to a higher standard, and that means that there are no more excuses. Now, keep in mind that excuses can also be labeled as reasons. I did that for a long time, I said, “Oh, this didn’t happen because of this.” If you’re saying because of, there’s a good chance that it’s because you’re actually using that as an excuse, okay. So, you gotta look at yourself, okay, what excuses do I have for why this is? One of the things that I do in coaching and this is something you need to do too whether you’re a coach and you’re coaching other people business owners or you’re a business owner and you’re coaching your employees, we’re all coaches by the way but if you want other people around you to change then you have to call them up but you can’t drag them to where you want them to be. They have to own it themselves, so I do coaching that I call “No more excuses coaching”, there are no more excuses. We’re going to get rid of all the excuses, all the reasons and we’re going to start calling people up. If you feel like you need that kind of accountability feel free to reach out to me, I have so many different ways that I can help you with that and I’d love to help you with that because you’re in the way of your own best version of yourself and your future.

The next thing that we need to look at with our employees and accountability is the word Fear. A lot of times we’re afraid of losing employees. Right now, we’re in an employee environment right where the employees are really kind of dominating the space we need those employees in order to be able to perform the services and the product that we have for our customers, but what would happen if you were to conquer that fear? what would happen if you were able to overcome that and become bold and strong? So, the first thing you need to do is you need to deal with your own fear of saying “Okay, I’m afraid of losing employees but in me doing that I’m actually enabling this bad behavior that needs to change, it needs to stop because here’s the deal you can’t treat your business like a, I’m going to use the phrase ‘red-headed stepchild’, I don’t know, it’s probably not politically correct but do you know what I mean, like you can’t abuse your business. Your business is actually very much like an employee or I’m sorry not like an employee like a person, your business is like a person, so do you take care of everybody else and then don’t take care of your business? Well, it’ll show. Do you take care of everybody else and not take care of your business and not take care of yourself? it’ll show. So, as a business owner, as a coach whatever you are, you need to actually call yourself up to greater standards. People will only become as good as who you are, so if you’re here and they’re here they will not be able to move up to the same spot as you. You actually need to move greater so that they can follow you, so how are you doing at your own personal growth, your leadership development, your communication, your accountability. By the way, accountability is nothing more than just asking somebody –hey how did you do with that? Did you do that enough? Eventually, they learn and they start to make changes in their behavior. You don’t need to be mean, you don’t need to get angry, you don’t need to get in their face about it, just ask them and you’ll be surprised they’re going to be expecting you to ask especially if you’re consistent with it. You can even say, “Hey, I’m going to ask you every week, how are you doing with this?” and then do it, and see what happens.

Okay, so we’ve talked about the fact that you need to get rid of your fear but you also need to respect, you need to respect yourself, respect your business, and respect your employees. So, now, with the fear, one other thing, remember that fear, the opposite of that is believing in yourself, it’s having confidence, so get rid of the fear, just push it out and say “I’m no longer going to participate with this”, okay. So, I want to share with you real-quick some of the things that I’m up to, and then, we’re going to dive into what’s next and that is how would you start to take control, how do you fix this, but before we do that, quick sidebar, over the last year, I’ve been moving into this season of coaching coaches. I still have coaching clients, I have a select few and I work with them and we help them in their business and that’s going to stay that way but we’re building a coaching team of coaches using our TurnKey coaching system that’s teaching Business Leaders how to become a coach.

Now, this is happening in many different ways. Some people are, they have a part-time job and they just want to be able to create a supplemental income, other people want to become a full-time coach, whatever it is. Coaching is very lucrative, you can make six digits in less than 10 hours a week, and so a lot of people are saying “Man, how could I do this,” how could I help others and do the passions of the things that I love to do while at the same time making an income, and my goal is that pastors, missionaries, business owners that want to make an impact in the world for God’s kingdom become part of the team and learn how to become coaches so that they can work 10 hours a week and then go off and do God’s work the rest of the week. That’s part of my goal, so if you know somebody that’s a coach or somebody that might consider wanting to become a coach please feel free to put me in touch with them and you can also check out our TurnKey coaching system at turnkeycoachingsystem.com, okay. Thanks for listening to my little marketing spiel there.

All right, so let’s talk about, okay, how do you start to implement the control of your business. Well, the first thing is, you need to have rules and the rules are non-negotiable. This is how we do this. See, what happens is people realize that you’re not going to live up to, you’re not going to hold them accountable to the rules that you have in place, so pick one rule and start to move into that rule and hold them accountable, start to ask questions. You have to enforce the rules and the rules of the rules, it just is what it is and it’s actually for the good of everybody you included, so the good of the business, the good of the team, the good of the structure of the company, the good of you, it’s got to be for the good of everybody, and next you have to be firm and state clearly what’s to be expected, “this is what I expect,” okay. Now, next you have to learn how to say “No”, they’re going to come back, “Well, can I do this, this one time.” In the beginning, you’re going to need to learn to say No, so that they respect that you say “no” enough, they’ll begin to respect you and then you can decide to give leeway when you want to. Now, what do you do when people don’t follow the rules?

Well, first of all, you need to have somebody that’s responsible for the accountability of the organization. They’re the person that’s going to be touching base with the team and saying, “Okay, how are you doing with this” and so maybe it’s your HR person, maybe it’s a business leader inside the company, a manager, you decide but that person needs to be the person that’s Creating a culture of accountability.

Next, you need to start to put policies and procedures in place, an employee handbook would be great. All those types of things that are this is how we do business, sometimes, those things are for the safety of the organization, sometimes, they’re for the best for the interest of everybody, whatever it is, start to instill these things that need to be done. Now, that might be a written policy, actually, by the way, it should always be a written policy. It should be something that you put in writing, if you keep it up here, nobody’s going to follow it. One of the other pieces of this though is, you want to have core values in place. The core values hold them accountable to the behaviors of how you want them to function when their skills don’t apply, so in other words, how are you going to be accountable as a person with your behavior and your character inside of our company? Those core values need to be implemented company-wide and they need to be there to hold people up to the standard of what it is that you’re doing as an organization, by the way, a great way to write core values is to look at every frustrating thing that you have, maybe with your employees or your customers or your partners or whoever it is, that’s involved in the company. Look at those frustrating things and say “Okay, how do I spin this into a positive behavior that will create accountability for the things that we need to do inside the company,” and also, by the way, do a Google search, there are tons of them out there you can find, so many different ways to communicate your core values, okay.

Next, after the written policies are in place and all of those things, you need to actually have job descriptions for everybody. Those job descriptions should have key performance indicators of what’s expected of the employee and what’s going to create success. I also say you want to have what’s going to cause me to be frustrated with you as an employer, what’s going to cause you to fail as an employee. Do this and win, do this and fail.

Now, I don’t know if I’d use the word fail but you know what I mean, you want to create some contrast so they know what’s expected, after that, you want to actually start to implement meetings with your managers, your foremen, whomever it is like whatever type of company you’re in, you want to implement weekly meetings where those people are meeting with you and talking about what’s working with their accountability and what’s not, what’s working with our team, what’s not working with our team. These weekly meetings will actually begin to keep you on track with what’s actually happening inside the company but it also creates accountability for them to know that you’re going to be asking “Okay, how are you doing with this.”

Now, after that, you want to put some kind of warning system in place, I would say, have that manager or that person that’s in charge keep track of how the different employees are doing and report back to you, as they do that, then, you can start to begin considering writing up the employee with a sit-down meeting for where you’re writing on a piece of paper and you’re actually, also, your documenting what’s going on and having that employee sign that piece of paper, take it seriously, that’ll help them take it seriously but it also creates a documentation trail for you and that documentation trail is so important if it comes to the point where you decide that it’s no longer a fit for them to be part of the company.

Okay, so, we have the write-ups, once you have the write-up in place, you also want to create an employee performance plan and that is what’s expected of that employee to change that, with the employee performance plan, one of the things you want to look at is “Okay, I want to know from you Mr. employee or Mrs. employee, what is it that you’re going to do to fix this problem.” Have them own it, ask them to write out the plan of what they’re going to do to fix it. Recently, I was teaching my kids something and my son decided that he was going to write his own contract for how he was going to handle something in his life and I thought, wow, that’s great. He actually came to me, I was so impressed, and so he came to me and he signed it and this was how he was going to choose to deal with this thing that we were working on, so impressive. I would challenge you, have your employee do that.

Now, next, after that, you want to keep track of the different infractions in that employee folder but keep in mind with all of this, so I’m going to go high level here again now. If you don’t know it, you can’t fix it, so this is why these meetings are so important, this is why it’s important to write stuff down. Keep track of things and start to work on fixing them. Now, also you need to back each other up, if you have people around you, everybody needs to be held accountable to this, you need to have a plan in place for all of this. Hopefully, the list that I’ve given you here was very helpful, if you actually want my notes from this conversation just reach out to me, text me, email me, Facebook message me, whatever. I’ll be glad to send it to you. It’s all bullet-pointed, it’d be very helpful for you. There’s one other piece to this though and I think what I want to do is the next time that we talk, I want to talk with you about how to move into a future positive space with your employees so that they want to, like right now, we’re talking about how to make them have to but we want to move to have them want to, so next time we meet, I want to move into this space of teaching you the simple principles of how you begin to change the culture where people want to.

As always, I’m here to help all of you coaches or business owners, I don’t care who you are, reach out to me, ask me questions. This is a real-life situation today that I was meeting with a client about and we were dealing with and I thought, boy, this would be good to get out to people on the internet so that they can begin to learn and apply these principles to their business. I hope it helps you find freedom, I hope it gives you confidence, and I hope it moves you to new spaces so that you begin to become the greatest version of yourself and your business. By the way, one other thing, you’ve got to work on your business not in your business so just the fact that you watch this is great but the next step is to actually start to apply it, so, if you’re like how do I apply this, what do I do? What I’m gonna do is, I’m gonna post a link to schedule a 15-minute call with me or one of my coaches. We’d be happy to show you how you can begin to move this from concept up here into a plan and then into action and how you can perpetuate that plan and keep after it. I don’t know if you’re like me but I create a plan but I don’t always stick to it. Well, that’s what we do as coaches, we hold you accountable to the plan so that you actually have far greater success than you could have ever imagined. How would that be, that’d be awesome wouldn’t it. That’s why I love coaching, seeing people go from here to here and making a difference in their lives.

Once again, Karl Diffenderfer, Higher Impact. I hope you have a great day. Keep in touch, look forward to talking to you next time, take care.

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