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Are you (or your managers) running a “country club”?

Are you (or your managers) running a “country club”?

Perhaps you’ve had the rare experience of working in a place that trusted their employees without holding them accountable to specific results.  Rules were lax, structure was non-existent and forget about meeting your goals.  These places are a blast to work in.  People love each other, love their managers, and love coming to work.  And why not?  It’s like a country club!

A culture where there is little accountability…

  • Employees miss deadlines and goals repeatedly
  • Has too little turnover – as low performers will stay and hide
  • Managers resort to over-rewarding just to get required performance
  • Ultimately punishes those who are performing and rewards those who aren’t

Managers in this type of environment say “so what, happier people do better work.”  Problem is they aren’t doing any work at all or at least not any work that leads to results.  In these organizations, effort is recognized but actual results aren’t measured. This leads to missed commitments, deadlines and goals.  Growth in organizations like these doesn’t last long because it isn’t sustainable.

In fact, I once had the opportunity to work in such a company.  I called it Utopia.  It was a small company, very family oriented.  There were no policies related to vacations or time off.  You took as much time off as you wanted – paid!

Everyone really liked each other.  We socialized outside of work a lot.  I loved going to work.  My friends thought I was nuts!

There were no formal job descriptions, therefore no specific and measurable accountabilities.  We had no sales meetings to see if or how much people were selling.

Now before you begin to think we were a bunch of slackers – we weren’t.  We all worked hard as we felt a sense of responsibility to the company and to each other.

However, without accountability to our financial goals, we soon had to face pay cuts across the board and eventually layoffs.  Of which I was one.

In your next article, we discuss how to balance trust and accountability.