Ep #47: How to Hold Employees Accountable

 In Podcast

Are you frustrated in your business because your employees don’t do what they need to do? With these primary tenets in place, to hold employees accountable becomes as simple as doing math.

What you’ll find in this episode:

  1. Some of the tools that we’ll be using in my Founder’s Lab this year.
  2. The importance of having and sharing your business vision.
  3. How to identify your top three values.
  4. Why leading with behavior expectations instead of managing to rules is so important.
  5. How to create your business manifesto.
  6. Where employee goals and benchmarks come in.

Featured on the Show and Other Notes:

  • Be sure to get on my mailing list. I’ll be sending out a series of powerful classes I’ve taught.
  • Want my favorite book list? Follow me on Instagram and post a screen shot of the podcast on your story or feed and tag me @KrisPlachyCoach.
  • Information about the Entrepreneurial Management Program.
  • The Founder’s Lab is my private coaching program for female founders who are generating more than 7-figures in their revenue. It’s a complement to the Entrepreneurial Management program and is a part of the work you get as a client of mine. This isn’t a “class.” I don’t give you copious tons of things to do. I give you the ones that matter and then we keep talking about them. We apply them. That’s why it’s called the Founder’s Lab.
  • There is also the Founder’s Lab Fundamentals – for women who have just gotten started hiring people –making about $200-300K in their business.
  • Go here to book an appointment with me.


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Podcast Transcript

Hey everyone. I’m Kris Plachy, and this is How to Lead for Female Entrepreneurs and Founders, because the best way to grow a business is to grow the person who’s running it. Let’s go ahead and get started.

Hey everyone. Welcome to the podcast today. How are you? I’m thrilled that you are listening today. I just got back from an incredible time in Grand Cayman. What a beautiful country, beautiful island. I was there for master coach training. Brooke Castillo, the founder of The Life Coach School was hosting about 20 new candidates for master coach training, and about 10 of us were invited, who are master coaches, to come and facilitate and train and instruct, and it was a marvelous time in a beautiful place with wonderful people. So I feel rested and a little bit still jonesing for the beach. I’m not going to lie. It’s been a wonderful couple months for me. I got to go to Belize, and then we went to Mexico, and then Grand Cayman. So now it’s freezing, and I’m cold and it’s raining. So I’m struggling with that a little bit.

But I want to talk to you today about something super important. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my business, and what I want to talk with you about, and what we’re going to be doing in the lab this year, and I know a lot of my clients, and I’m sure all of you who are listening, when I first kind of interact with you, there’s always a couple of these big what feel like triage moments, right? These things that need a lot of attention that you need to address right now. And there’s a real tendency, even for me as a coach, to just dive right into the challenges that you’re facing because I know how important it is for you to get solutions and get some new traction going in another direction. But what inevitably will happen for you, whether you hire me and work with me in the lab or not, is if you don’t put some infrastructure into place, you’re just going to keep rinse and repeating a lot of the problems that you have.

And so what this podcast is about is, it’s called How to Hold Employees Accountable. So it’s pretty simple, but it’s about the tenets that you need to have in place in your business so that this gets easier. One of the conversations I have with my clients who do better and better every year at how they manage people is we talk about the difference between where they were when they first got started, and where they are now. One of the biggest challenges is when you’re new at managing and bringing people into your company, I think we go through this phase of elation, like, “Oh, this is going to be so great. There’s going to be people here.” And then just crushing disappointment when we realize that people can’t just do what we want them to do, that there’s this gap between what’s in our brain and what ends up being delivered by others.

And so what ends up happening when you’re kind of new at the managing part of your business is you might keep people too long, tolerate too much, have too much of a threshold that you have, people have to cross with you before you really take action. What I know happens over time after you develop your skill is your saw gets sharper, for lack of a better metaphor, and you are better at firing people. And I know that can sound kind of negative. I think a lot of people don’t like to talk about firing people, but it’s such a important skill to have. You have to be able to move quickly in your business, and so I know that’s one of the things that for me is not hard. I don’t have a hard time firing people. I don’t like to have to, and I get kind of frustrated when that happens, when I thought somebody was going to be great, and they are good people, they’re just not the right fit for me and my company.

So part of the way that we … Well, not even part. The way that you get better at knowing who to keep and who to fire is you have these basic fundamentals in place. So I’m going to talk to you about what those are on this podcast, but I’m also going to invite you to become a part of my community, join my mailing list. What I’m going to be doing here for my folks in my community is sending out some replays of some pretty powerful classes I’ve led that really walk you through getting results through other people, delegating, knowing if it’s you or them. A lot of times that’s the biggest problem, is, “How do I even know? Maybe they’re the problem. Maybe I’m the problem. I don’t know.” And then how to actually have that conversation and fire someone. So those are coming, and so if you’re not on the mailing list, you’ll miss out on that opportunity to get those because I’ll be sending those to my existing community members.

So today, that’s the big thing I want to talk to you about, are these primary tenets that are involved with holding people accountable and getting results through others, and that’s ultimately your job when it comes to accountability. It’s your responsibility to make sure this stuff is in place. So I know that you’ve heard me talk about these all individually, but we’re going to put them all together here.

So the first thing is a vision. Do you know where your business is going? Do you know what your business is here to do on the planet? Is that clear? And if it is, does everybody know in your company what your business is here to do? We have to have a clear vision, because without it, all that’s happening every day is just work, and it doesn’t help congeal culture, performance expectations, all the other things that come after it. So if you don’t have a vision or you think yours is kind of unclear, this is also part of the work I do in the lab, right?

It’s one thing to hear all this stuff. If somebody just asked me, “What kind of book should I read?” You can read all the books you want in the world, but do the book, right? And for me, the way that I invite you to do this podcast is to come work with me in the Founders Lab, because otherwise, I know. I read books. I’ve got all sorts of stuff I listen to, but what are you actually doing? Do you have a vision statement? Do you have it written down? It’s one sentence. Can I find it somewhere? Do your employees know what it is? And if you need help cultivating that, I certainly can help you with that.

The next thing is we have to know what your values are, and I like you to have three. Your values are in place whether you want to pay attention to them or not. Your values are, the best way to figure out what your values are is to look at the person that you have hired in your company, who is your most favoritest, just you feel like is the most representative of what you’re trying to get done in your company, all of it. Those are the values you need to pay attention to.

I know you could give me a list of things that you value, and sometimes they sound very pretty, but let’s just look at that one person that you work with who, man, no matter what, you just are so glad that they’re a part of your team. Why? Pay attention. Because whatever you value is what you’re going to be recognizing and acknowledging and really needing from people in your team, so the values are how we determine who gets to come on the team and who leaves the team, so you have to have those in place, if we’re going to have an accountability culture, right? If we’re going to actually hold people accountable. In the absence of values, people don’t know how to behave.

Now, values inform your expectations, so expectations get clearer. Expectations help people know even more about what it means to work for and with you and your company. What do you expect of people? What does that look like? Right? When we lead with behavior expectations instead of managing to rules, which is what a lot of people do, we have so much more latitude to how we hold people accountable, and the kind of performance we get out of folks.

We want to hire adults who thinks like adults, right? Who can perform like adults. But if all you’re doing is setting rules up for them all day, you’re treating them like children, and they will act that way. So I think it’s so much more powerful to hold an expectation and see who can rise to it and hold it and sustain it versus just being so meticulous and specific and micro-ey with all the dang rules you have. Because there’s always going to be another rule, and you’ll have to make a rule for the rule for the rule. And I know that if this isn’t who you are, you know what I mean, because you’ve worked in that environment before, I’m sure we’ve all experienced that. So I always like to think that those kinds of rules just teach people how to lose, expectations help people know how to win.

So what are the expectations, the behavior expectations you have of people that work for you? And then we take the vision and we take the values and the expectations and we put those in a manifesto. And the manifesto is the story of your business. It sort of answers the question, “This is how you know you’ll love working here.” Now, keeping in mind the reason I’m talking to you about these areas is because we’re setting up how to hold people accountable, but if I haven’t put all of this in place … So let’s say that one of the things you tell people is, “Part of how you’re going to thrive here, you know that you’re well suited to work here if you believe in authentic relationships,” right? And then we have somebody on the team who comes in and starts kind of lying, not telling the truth, skimming the truth is the way I like to think about it.

You know, it’s funny about, the authenticity is an important value of mine, and to me, because authenticity drives honesty, and it’s sort of a core value that a lot of other values touch. And it is interesting, because I think people think when they skim the truth, nobody notices, but I do. And that’s disingenuous, and it lacks authenticity. It’s very easy to see, right? If you’re going to work in my organization, let’s just be honest with each other. That’s authenticity. Skimming the truth isn’t. And I know. I have teenagers. I’m on to you, right?

So what is it for you that you want people to know? What we have to remember is that most people are not entrepreneurs, and so most people want to be an employee, which is fine. We love employees. We love people who want to be strong, successful employees, but they want to know how to win, and they want to know how to thrive. And the better we can be at setting that up for them ahead of time, the easier it is for them to do that also, right? That’s the good news. In the absence of that, we’re just sort of hoping everybody shows up in the world like we do, and we know that they don’t. If that’s a surprise to you, I don’t know where you’ve been. You’ve been living under a rock, right? Because all you have to do is just go out in the world and realize people don’t think about the world like you do. Then you hire them and you think they’re going to read your mind and do things like you want. That is just a totally unreasonable expectation. You’ve got to spell it out.

And then once we have vision, values, expectations, and a manifesto, now we’ve built sort of the soul of the business. This is what it means to show up and be here. Then every person should have goals and expectations for actions that they need to fulfill. Deadlines, benchmarks, and there has to be follow-up and follow through on your part. I know, again, as an entrepreneur, you’re working double, triple time. You meet the commitments you make to your business, because it’s your business, but other people, not everybody has that same level of commitment. And so they do need feedback, and they do need coaching, and they do need investment of time with you, and they do need deadlines, and benchmarks, and calendar support, and management.

And initially, I appreciate, for someone who’s been maybe working on their own or has had a really congealed couple people they work with, and you start adding people, this could feel so cumbersome, but it really is at the heart of accountability, is ensuring that we’ve been clear about what we want people to do, and then we follow through on the back end.

So when I know that there’s a problem, these are the things I will always check in with you on. Do you have a vision? Do you have established values? Do you have a manifesto and expectations? And does every person on this team that you’re working with have clear goals? And do they have clear actions and benchmarks that they’re working towards? And that can be for production, or for behavior. But accountability, holding an employee accountable for their performance is honestly just math when you have all of this in place. But with the absence of this, this is my last thing I talked about, right? Performance is not an opinion. In the absence of this, we just flail with our own feelings, and you can’t manage people with your feelings. It’s just a terrible approach. It’s not useful, it’s not productive, and it also, in the long game, can be a little dangerous to the business if we have a founder who does all of this stuff based on emotion. That gets you into trouble. You’ve got to anchor all of this into the math, okay? So how do you hold an employee accountable? You build the framework.

Now, if you come into my lab and you have to triage some current employee challenges, we’re going to do that, but we’re going to use this tool, this whole approach I just talked to you about, because the best thing is once you’ve built it, then it’s rinse and repeat for every person on the team. And it doesn’t matter what level they’re in. If they’re front, front, front line, or they’re an executive in your company, it’s the same approach. Accountability is always available to you, and I want you to know it is not a mystery, and it doesn’t have to be really, really painful, but it does have to be something you’re willing to invest in so that you get the results on the back end that are replicatable for you and your business. Okay?

So as I mentioned, I’m going to be releasing a series of courses I’ve taught over these topics, over probably about the last seven or eight months. And so those folks who are on my mailing list are going to get these powerful videos that are short courses that highlight the key topics and key areas that I focus on in each one. So I’d love to invite you again to join my mailing list, top on, so that you get those and we can stay in touch that way.

If you have any questions, you can always email us at hello@krisplachy.com, and if you’re not already following me on Instagram, I certainly invite you to do that, and the best way to let me know that you’re listening is to share it on your feed or share it in your story and tag me, and then I will actually also send you my favorite book list. If you’ve been listening for a while, you know that I do that, but if you’ve just started tuning in, I’d love to share my favorite book list with you for female entrepreneurs. Just post a screenshot of the podcast tag, make sure you tag me, KrisPlachyCoach, and we’ll get the book list to you as well. So thanks for tuning in today, and I will talk to you again next time.

Hey, don’t miss a thing. Make sure you join my community at krisplachy.com/connect. Once you join, you’ll get all the information on exclusive and private experiences that I’m offering to my clients. I can’t wait to see you there.

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