Why Is It Important to Hold Employees Accountable?
By holding employees accountable, you will ensure your mobile workforce performs their tasks and do so following the company’s common goals.
It can be challenging for managers of distributed teams to determine whether their mobile employees finished their tasks following the common company goals. When their workforce is dispersed, they usually have no way of knowing whether an employee showed up on time or clocked in from a coffee shop on the way to work.
Your field employees can finish the same task in many different ways. For example, a caregiver can use the shortest route to the client and show up on time for the scheduled home visit. Or they can choose to take a bit longer but a scenic path and show up for an appointment 15 minutes late. Both will fulfill their tasks, but only one is accountable for their work.
A lack of insight into employees’ activities when they’re out in the field can cost a company a lot of money. For example, buddy punching and other time theft schemes cost companies 20% of each dollar company earns. It can cost even more in specific industries regarding the business reputation.
However, GPS-powered software solutions, like Timeero, can help managers solve this and some other most common mobile workforce accountability issues. But, before we explain how, let’s get all the basics clear, and explain exactly what we mean when we’re talking about employee accountability.
What Is Accountability at the Workplace?
Accountability in the workplace is about holding people responsible for common expectations set in a clearly defined company’s mission, values, and goals.
Holding employees accountable means having all employees deliver on their commitments regardless of their position. They feel responsible for fulfilling both their tasks and the common company output.
However, many employees tend to view accountability in the workplace as something negative. They relate it to situations when employers try to “catch” them in a mistake, pin the blame, or set a disciplinary system that is too rigid.
Instead of building a proactive atmosphere of responsibility, employers with such a negative approach create a reactive, bureaucratic culture. It often leads to impersonality, rigidity, goal displacement, and loads of paperwork. Intimidated by possible disciplinary measures, employees focus only on fulfilling their tasks. As common objectives are not at the top of their priorities, they often neglect them.
But there is another, much better way - a transparent workplace culture that builds trust among employees and allows learning and improving. Errors and failures are considered restorable, thus acknowledged and accepted, and used in a way that contributes to the growth and advancement of employees.
Nurturing a culture of employee accountability can help you turn your company into a high-performing business.
What Is an Accountable Workforce?
Holding employees accountable is essential for growth and improvement and crucial for business success. Accountability empowers employees with a sense of ownership, keeps them engaged, and improves their overall performance.
For a moment, let’s get back to our accountable caregiver from the example above. They know that being late can have many negative consequences for the agency, including client churn, so they will show up on time for the appointment.
They will prioritize this task over filling out the mileage log template, as they know that providing a service is their actual role. They will choose the shortest route to keep the travel-related expenses optimal and enable the further growth of the agency. They know how to prioritize their tasks as they are aware that punctuality is one of the KPIs home health agency is tracking, as it directly influences clients turnover and satisfaction.
An accountable workforce consists of high-performing employees who, like our caregiver, know how to prioritize their day-to-day tasks to align with overall business goals.
When promoting and establishing accountability in the workplace, you need to ensure that each of your mobile employees is clear about their tasks and role and how their workplace behavior can help achieve the common company goals.
You can hardly hold employees accountable for visions they don’t understand in the first place.
How to Measure Employee Accountability
So, it turns out setting common goals and explaining your vision to employees is critical for fostering a workplace culture that encourages employee accountability.
Holding employees accountable is possible only when employees clearly understand the standard they are held to and their employer’s expectations. To measure their accountability, you will need to set objective goals and define your expectations precisely, as well as what you plan to monitor and how.
When the goals are SMART, employees won’t be confused or doubt their expectations or role. Both employees and their managers will find it much easier to track whether they’re moving forward toward goal completion.
We use performance metrics and key performance indicators to measure business or employee performance. These metrics provide us with data vital for supporting accountability in the workplace.
The performance metrics vary significantly depending on the industry but also the objectives of the particular company. They are most effective when all the employees are familiar with them and use data to improve their performance.
However, some common accountability issues can now easily be fixed when managing the mobile workforce, no matter the industry.
How Do You Track Employee Accountability?
To improve your mobile team efficiency and start holding employees accountable, you need to monitor their efforts continually. By keeping track of performance metrics, you will know where your employees stand compared to the benchmark.
Still, when their performance is being tracked, employees can sometimes feel or believe that they are targeted personally. Using smart software solutions, like Timeero, to track your employees’ performance will provide transparent, objective, and accurate performance data. This way, you can demonstrate that tracking accountability is not personal and that it is all about achieving common goals and results.
You can also use this data to implement incentives based on employees’ achievements, helping you improve their motivation and engagement.
How to Hold Employees Accountable Using Smart Tech?
Integrating smart tech solutions can help you manage your mobile workforce in multiple ways and support accountability.
Companies that rely on mobile employees need dynamic, smart solutions that work on the go and can support their needs. Current mobile apps, among other things, enable companies to easily monitor time, mileage, locations, and schedules for their employees.
Let’s have a closer look at the best technological features available and how they can help you begin holding employees accountable.
Start Managing Time Better
Time tracking software has become one of the essentials of today’s businesses. In addition to streamlining the entire process, time tracking allows you to monitor individual tasks and team performance.
Using such a tool, you can gain insight into every aspect of an employee’s workday, helping you optimize work activities to make every minute count.
Such a feature can also help employees improve accountability. They can now identify the tasks that took longer than expected and figure out what slowed them down. They can use this data to improve their performance and, if needed, ask for your support to speed up the process.
When your employees work remotely in various locations, you know how hard it can be to track their time and whereabouts. When your options for monitoring are limited, and there is no accurate data to turn to, accountability is challenging to establish.
The geofence time clock feature can help you by setting virtual perimeters around work locations, so you can start holding employees accountable for where they are during their working hours.
With a virtual perimeter set, they can clock in when they reach the location, using the app on their mobile device. If an employee tries to clock in from a coffee shop, or their commute, their punch will signal that they are out of bounds.
With a geofence time clock, you will improve your employee accountability and better manage your mobile workforce. You will also eliminate paperwork and prevent time theft.
This feature is vital in specific sectors, such as already mentioned home health care, where it’s crucial to be EVV compliant. All interested parties can now have accurate proof of attendance if there is a dispute with a client.
Mileage tracking is another feature invaluable in industries with mobile workers that is almost impossible to perform accurately when done manually.
By automating mileage tracking using GPS- powered apps, you can always have accurate and timely data, so you can start holding employees accountable for their miles and routes.
This type of software comes with even more helpful features, such as identifying the shortest routes that enable your employees to reach every destination more efficiently.
Besides granting your employees accountability, they will finally be able to focus on their actual work instead of worrying about filling out their mileage logs - the software does it all with a single click. Optimized routes and more accurate data will result in lower expenses for your company, as you will be able to eliminate unnecessary fuel and wages costs.
Scheduling capabilities will help you distribute jobs among your team members efficiently, provide numerous benefits and improve the accountability in the workplace of both managers and employees. This type of software grants transparency - in the “Who’s Working” tab, now you can quickly find employees available to cover a shift if there is a need. This way, even when an employee is unexpectedly absent, work still gets done.
Employees can now have more visibility and better control over their workdays. They have their schedules at their fingertips and are notified straight away when there are changes in their shifts.
As there will be no more obstacles to communicating schedule changes, you can begin holding employees accountable for keeping up with their schedules.
Tardiness among employees will also be discouraged, as the feature easily records late arrivals.
Prevent Disruptive Behavior
Team spirit and bonds between employees should be encouraged. However, close personal relationships among staff are also a cause of concern for companies managing mobile employees, and for a valid reason. As we’ve already mentioned, various time thefts, including buddy punching, or working side gigs on company's time cost businesses a lot of money and harm employee morale and workplace culture.
When you combine a geofence time clock with a face recognition feature, you won’t need to worry about buddy punching and time theft ever again. Such technology effectively prevents your employees from clocking in or out for their coworkers, improving employee accountability and minimizing disruptive workplace behavior.
Start Holding Employees Accountable With The Right Smart Tech Solution
Switching from outdated performance tracking practices to efficient workforce management solutions, such as Timeero, can help you make employee accountability a secret ingredient in your recipe for success.
Improve Workplace Accountability with TImeero.
Always have accurate data on your employees' working hours, locations and routes.
Andjelka is a sociologist turned digital marketer. She specializes in creating content for SaaS and software companies. When she’s not researching the most effective employee management techniques, Andjelka loves cooking, reading, and fighting for human rights.