- Create Leverage
- Creating an Accountability Chart
Creating an Accountability Chart
How to create Role Clarity and Accountability in your team
Is everyone on your team clear on what results and outcomes their role is responsible for?
If your answer is anything but a full body fuck YES…
You have just identified your #1 obstacle to having a scalable and self-managing company.
When you don’t have Role Clarity and the infrastructure for Accountability on your team:
Your team can’t self-manage - you will be pulled in to manage
Your team relies on you to manage - you will be pulled away from growth and vision
Your team will underperform - you will feel frustrated with the lack of momentum
Your team will lose motivation - you will experience team turnover
As your company scales, the stakes get higher.
And so will the importance of role clarity and accountability.
One of the first things I do when working with new clients is a full on team audit.
We’ll audit the current org chart of the team and everyone’s roles and responsibilities. We’ll look for bottlenecks: people in the wrong roles, underperforming members, role gaps, responsibility overlaps, and so on.
Then we’ll get back to the drawing board to redesign an Accountability Chart needed to take the company to the next level. And we’ll rebuild the team and management infrastructure.
The first step here is always the Accountability Chart.
What’s an Accountability Chart?
An Accountability Chart is a revamped version of the traditional Organizational Chart.
The old model of an Org Chart is typically a visual diagram that outlines:
All roles and titles in a company
Which departments they operate in
The hierarchy of who reports to who
This may have worked for traditional corporate organizations where people were hired to do a job.
But in a new world where companies hire people to get results, this Org Chart alone is pretty useless. It doesn’t address the major issue most companies struggle with: clarity around the core functions of the business and who is accountable for what.
Here’s where the Accountability Chart comes in.
Accountability Charts provide clarity on:
What core functions keep the business operating and growing
Who’s accountable for each function
What results are each role responsible for
Clarifying accountability improves both efficiency and team motivation.
Let’s talk about why this is important and then I’ll share my exact process for building an Accountability Chart.
Why an Accountability Chart?
Accountability is important because it is required:
To get consistent results that move the business forward
To build a self-managing team, freeing you from management
For team members to feel motivated by knowing they’re crushing their outcomes
Accountability serves your business as much as it serves each individual member’s career growth.
As your team grows: people outgrow their roles, wear multiple hats, or take on more responsibilities than what they were originally hired for - creating overlaps and a lack of clarity on who’s actually responsible for what.
This lack of clarity or confusion ends up wasting time, energy, and goals don’t get accomplished because no one is driving them or being held accountable to them.
A-Players want to do great work to achieve great things.
They can’t do that if they’re not clear on what success looks and feels like for their role.
You can’t build a self-managing team and business if your team isn’t clear on how to self-manage themselves in a way where they succeed in their role.
Set your team up to succeed in their roles and the byproduct is your business growing to the next level.
How to create an Accountability Chart
Here’s the step-by-step to create an Accountability Chart.
Step 1: Set up your Accountability Chart
Open up a spreadsheet in your platform of choice.
Or you can take this Notion Template here.
Make sure your chart has the following columns:
Team / Department
Areas of Responsibilities
You’ll build out the Accountability Chart in a spreadsheet first and then if you want, you can create a visual design of the chart. But it’s not necessary in my opinion.
Step 2: List out the Functions and Responsibilities
On a separate document or sheet, list all the key functions and responsibilities required to operate and grow your business.
You can get your team to contribute to this list to cover any gaps you may have missed.
Next to each function or responsibility, list the person currently responsible. If there are some overlaps, leave a note to clarify who is ultimately responsible.
There should only be ONE person responsible for each function.
Organize the list and group functions into Areas of Responsibility, essentially forming roles.
Step 3: Add the Areas of Responsibility to your Accountability Chart
Add them to your chart to form clear roles.
Add in who is currently in this role and who their manager is, or who they report to.
Start to fill out the rest of the chart based on what your current team looks like.
This first part is all about creating the Current Accountability Chart. The second part will be rebuilding it for a scalable and functional team.
Step 4: Fill in the KPIs or Results
For each role, assign what KPIs or results this role is responsible for driving.
This is an important part on your end as the business owner.
Clarifying the responsibilities of each role is one thing. It’s also essential to clarify your expectations on what results and outcomes this role is responsible for.
Setting clear expectations allows your team to rise to the challenge.
And it’ll also quickly weed out those who are not the right fit for the role.
Pro Tip: Get your team to fill out a Role Audit Form
Steps 2-4 above are about you getting clear on your expectations for your team.
There’s an extra step I do with my clients that you may want to consider.
Have everyone on your team fill out a Role Audit Form asking them to clarify what they believe is their role and responsibilities. You can ask questions like:
What is the purpose of your role?
What are your key responsibilities?
What key results are you responsible for achieving?
What are the key requirements for your role?
What do you need to be an A-Player in this role?
Where do you see your career in the next 3 years?
Then you review their response against your expectations to illuminate any gaps in role clarity.
There are two reasons this extra step is powerful:
You’ll see if they truly understand their role and responsibilities
You’ll see how they talk about their role and if they feel empowered in it
How your team fills out this form tells you a lot about them.
I’ve seen team members fill out the form in absolute clarity with details of their roles and what results they’re excited to create. And I’ve seen members half-assed on filling out the form, answering in a few words broadly explaining their roles.
Instantly I’m able to predict who will be long-term A-Players and who all are not empowered (and likely underperforming) in their roles.
Ask your team and they’ll tell you, consciously and unconsciously, if they’re a rockstar or not.
Step 5: Review your Current Accountability Chart
Once you have filled out your Accountability Chart, now’s the time to do a deep dive review on each role and team member.
You’re looking for team members who are:
Underperforming in their role (or not motivated)
Not in the right roles
Not a right fit for your company
Or any gaps of responsibility you’re seeing in your chart.
You can conduct 1:1 interviews with people to better understand whether they’re the right fit.
Here’s where you will put on your business owner hat to make the hard calls in service of the business and team.
Fire team members who are unfit
Move the right people into the right roles
Empower people to meet your expectations of the role
Hard calls are easier to make when your expectations of each role are clear.
Step 6: Rebuild your Ideal Accountability Chart
Redesign your Ideal Accountability Chart.
Put the right people into the right seats with clarity on what they’re responsible for.
The team that got you here isn’t always the team that’s going to get you to the next stage of your business.
Identify any gaps in your Accountability Chart that you need to hire for.
Rebuild a team that’s scalable and fully functional.
Step 7: Create Role Scorecards
Create Role Scorecards for each role.
I wrote about how to create Role Scorecards here.
If you have an Operator (and you should), you can delegate this process to them to complete. In fact, your Operator should have been closely involved with the whole process of building your Accountability Chart since they are the one managing your team.
Add the finalized Role Scorecards to your Accountability Chart.
Step 8: Roll out the Role Scorecards
Do a 1:1 call with each team member to roll out their Role Scorecards together with them.
Make sure everyone is clear and aligned on what their new role, responsibilities, and results are.
If you have managers and leaders on your team, you can roll out the role scorecards with them, demonstrating the process, and then have them roll out the scorecards with their team.
Step 9: Set up regular 1:1 Performance Reviews
Once role scorecards are rolled out, have all leaders and managers set up regular 1:1 reviews with their team members who report to them.
The cadence will depend on the role but I recommend monthly reviews to keep everyone progressing on track towards the company’s quarterly objectives.
These 1:1 reviews should be based on the role scorecards.
Have each team member self-assess and rate themselves on how well they’re meeting the role scorecard. Then have each manager rate their team on their role scorecard.
It’s the manager’s responsibility to support (or find support) for their team when there are issues, bottlenecks, and performance concerns.
The role scorecards become a blueprint for leading and managing team performance.
The clearer the role, the easier the management.
Step 10: Schedule an Accountability Chart Review every quarter
Creating an Accountability Chart is not a one-and-done activity.
Schedule time with your Operator every quarter to review the chart and team, aligning both to the next quarter’s objectives.
There you go, the step-by-step process to creating an Accountability Chart for Role Clarity and peak team performance.
Get started on rebuilding your team to take your business to the next level!
If you need support on this, my team provides services to help you create Role Clarity on your team. You can book a free 1:1 consult with me here.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready…
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