How to take steps toward autonomy with accountability in your Organization.

How to take steps toward autonomy with accountability in your Organization.

With our current environment of virtual or dispersed teams, now is a great time to begin the shift to autonomy with accountability!

If you missed it, check out our post from last week which gives more context on what autonomy is and what accountability is in the work place.

Then consider the following four applications of how to create an organizational culture of autonomy with accountability.


1) Agree on your team values. Create your rally cry on your “how.”

  • What do you want your team to be known for? What do they want to be known for? Do either of those require you to physically monitor their progress every minute of every working day? Probably not. Write out these team values (ideally, they mirror your organizational values!), and post them where you and your team can see them regularly – perhaps on a shared document, intranet, or even creating a print out and frame to put on your desks.
  • Discuss your team values in your reoccurring huddles! The more you can create the values as a rally cry, the more these values will become engrained in your team.


2) Create clear expectations of the ask and how you will be measuring success.

  • Be realistic on what you are asking for and when you are asking for it, especially with our current dispersed workforce reality.
  • Ask yourself these questions to give more meat to your ask:
    • What is the business case behind why this ask is important?
    • What will happen if this doesn’t get done?
    • What will it look like when this gets done? What will be different?
    • What does success look like at the completion of this?
    • What does the final approval process look like for this ask? Am I the final approver? If not, what extra context do I need to give my employee?
    • How will I know the task is done? What is the final deliverable?
    • What will I use to measure the success of this?
    • Document in writing your ask and expectations, and send to your team member for review. It will force you to be clear on what you are really asking for!


3) Communicate those expectations and hold your team accountable.

    • Set-up a quick “kick off” meeting to ensure alignment on the “what” and “when” of your task. Lead with why this task is important and how it aligns with a business need. There’s a reason why this work needs to be done. Let’s not be shy about that reason!
    • Set timely ‘touch-bases’ for discussion, feedback, and progress updates. These can be virtual face-to-face, or a commitment weekly to writing a quick status update. Communicate exactly what you would like to know during those touch-bases to make sure you both are getting what you need.
    • Don’t lose sight of that touch-base! A habit takes 30 days to build.

Pro-tip: Set a ping for both of you the day before the touch-base to remind you the touch-base is coming up!


4) Give actionable feedback based on what you’re seeing as often as you can! Want more help on this?

  • When your Core Leaders see something going really well, or you want to course correct a behavior, encourage them to say something in the moment.
  • We’ve got a whole blog post on “3 Best practices for giving feedback in a virtual environment.” Click here.

An environment where your employee can set their own path on how to execute the business need is one way of keeping your workforce engaged and actively focused on the business priority at hand.