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Leadership: Striking The Balance Between Trust and Accountability

June 6, 2019

Monitoring Teams, Workplace Culture

Trust and accountability form the basis upon which good teamwork flourishes- without them it’s near impossible to make real progress. Here at Wundamail, we know the two rarely go hand-in-hand, so we’ve put together our best advice for striking a balance.

According to Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook), leadership is “making others better as a result of your presence, and making sure that impact lasts in your absence”. Certainly, motivating your team to make progress, even when you’re not there, holds the secret to better productivity.  When it comes to managing teams, ideas of trust and accountability are therefore of paramount importance.

If you establish a culture of accountability within your team, you will be more likely to have the headspace to develop a concrete strategy for future growth. Micromanaging is certainly not conducive to collective progress, not least because your expertise is stretched thin across all projects. Your team can only ever accomplish what you alone can coordinate- you become the limiting factor. But how can you begin to solve the problem? As team leader, it’s imperative that you set the agenda, keep tasks on schedule, and ensure your team are performing to their best ability.

One of the most challenging aspects as team leader is understanding when to let go. Face it- you are never going to be able to lead every project, micromanage every employee or sit in on every meeting, so giving responsibility to people you trust is vital. But how do you strike the balance between cultivating a culture of trust, while remaining confident your team are putting in maximum effort?

Automate Team Feedback

Empower your team to have their own creative vision, and choose a clear communication channel to relay information and keep tabs on each subsection of your organisation. Encouraging your team to articulate their achievements, setbacks and activities will naturally inject a sense of ownership within the group. If you meticulously micro-manage each task however, your team are far less likely to become invested in its success.

Having a clear, automated feedback loop will allow you to monitor project progress, while giving individuals the space to innovate, push projects forward and think for themselves. If you inspire your team and trust them to perform, the responsibility will follow.

Structure The Feedback

Traditional communication lacks structure. Face to face, ideas get proposed and discussed quickly, but become lost and buried equally as fast. Management software Wundamail is the simple, modern way to lead teams of every shape and size. By condensing group thinking into a single daily email, Wundamail structures feedback, makes decisions searchable, and simplifies things for everyone.

Whatever your leadership style, Wundamail is designed to inspire powerful behavioural change. Each day, Wundamail sends a question to the whole team, then compiles the responses into a single group email. Team activity is collated, condensed and circulated for all to see- no apps, usernames, or passwords needed.

By making feedback clear and visible to everyone, Wundamail promotes a culture of accountability and ownership. It can help team leaders to keep tabs on progress, without becoming burdened with micromanagement or constant admin. Once a day, you proactively manage the group by setting a question. In doing so, you are able to steer team activity in the right direction, while giving members the space to innovate, push projects forward, work together and think for themselves.

Hold Team Members Accountable To Each Other

When team activity is broadcast to the whole group, team members are held accountable not only  to their boss, but to their peers and colleagues too. Naturally, this works to encourage a little healthy competition within the group, motivating each person to perform well and take pride in their work.

Furthermore, understanding other team members projects, pressures and priorities cultivates a more understanding group culture. When everything is transparent across an organisation, individuals are more likely to empathise when others are under stress, or offer to share the workload. This makes for a much more supportive, nurturing atmosphere all round. Everyone, from the CEO to the caretaker, is able to see the bigger picture and how it translates to each of their colleagues. Whether your people are confronting an issue, struggling with a roadblock, or accomplishing something wonderful, you (and all their peers) will be updated by email- once a day, every day.

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