The Connection Between Accountability and Motivation

By Sarah McVanel

A major question I am getting lately is how do we hold people accountable in our remote covıd world of work? What worries me is that it stems from a belief: if I recognize somebody, they will become complacent and think that there’s nothing to improve.

Here’s how I’d like to flip it.

If they don’t know what is working, how will they know what to continue? Appreciation breeds clarity and motivation. How will somebody ever be motivated if they don’t know what is working, where they fit, that what they do matters, and how they fit into the bigger picture? If this is very clear, and there is a lack of performance, with empathy, understanding, curiosity and compassion, our first job is to assist them to be successful. Not to be the judge and jury of their worthiness. If the context and the circumstance are in any way impacting performance, that needs to be understood and taken into account. Not to let people off the hook, but to look for the area where the gaps need to be filled.

All too often we point to the person who is the problem rather than looking at what’s around the individual that doesn’t set them up for success.

The foundation is appreciation. The finesse is feedback.

What do you think? Do you agree?

For more on this topic, check out Sarah’s site at Holding People Accountable in a Remote World: A Recognition & Resiliency Perspective – Greatness Magnified. We look forward to Sarah joining us in 2022 at AWC!

Let us know your thoughts or experiences on this topic in the comments below!