How to Hold Millennials Accountable in 7 Steps

(When this post was first published, it came out blank. My apologies for the inconvenience.)

For as long as I can remember, the older generation has complained about the younger. “What’s the world coming to?”

Some Baby-Boomer-leaders wonder how to hold those irresponsible Millennials accountable.

those who aren't committed

How to hold Millennials Accountable (Or anyone else):

#1. Stop inviting excuses:

Don’t ask for reasons why something wasn’t done, if you don’t want to hear excuses why something wasn’t done.

“Why didn’t you follow through?” is an invitation for excuses.

What kind of conversation does, “What happened?” call for?

Face it. There’s always a “good” reason when someone didn’t finish a task. Don’t ask to hear it.

#2. Don’t have the same conversation two or three times.

When someone doesn’t finish tasks, don’t expect anything to change until you change what you do. The same conversation will yield the same disappointing results.

“Hope” doesn’t magically change performance. In reality, hope often prolongs poor performance.

You prolong poor performance by sending signals that poor performance is OK.

#3. Give second chances.

Leaders who don’t give second chances create cut-throat, over-protective, slow-moving teams.

#4. Evaluate commitment.

Ask, “On a scale of 1 to 10 how important is this to you?” If the number is acceptable, ask, question five. If the number is too low, discuss values.

Those who are committed find a way. Those who aren’t committed make excuses.

#5. Double check for clarity.

Were expectations clear?

#6. Ask the power question.

“What makes you think things will be different next time?”

Listen for specific behaviors, not wishful thinking. Next time will be like last time, if they leave your office with the plan they used last time.

#7. Create consequences with them.

“What would you like me to do, if you don’t follow through next time?”

Go with their response, if it’s acceptable. Add or subtract consequences if theirs is too harsh or soft.

Tip: Don’t prolong conversations about poor performance, if:

  1. Expectations were clear.
  2. Capability is adequate.
  3. Circumstances were stable.

How might leaders hold people who have fallen short accountable?