Accountability And Empowerment

Nick Pye |


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Whoever thought that setting managers up to fail was ever a good idea?

Too often, operational accountabilities are devolved to line managers without them being properly equipped to handle the associated tasks.

For the overworked line manager on the receiving end of this change, the perception is often that they’re being properly dumped on; the reason that they’ve been asked to take greater accountability is because of a desire to save costs, or because the HR team wants to get rid of the job!

The message that people managers rarely get is, ‘we would like you to be accountable for this because you’re actually best placed to do it (an argument which has the advantage of being true), and we’ll also make sure that you are fully equipped to do the job effectively, meaning that there will be benefits to you, your team, day to day....etc’.

Greater accountability has to go hand-in-hand with greater empowerment, by which I mean giving managers all of the tools, the skills, the knowledge and the support that they need to be more self-sufficient, more effective and more successful.

But empowerment without accountability is a recipe for chaos. Accountability without empowerment is just setting people up to fail.

Far too often, organisations have attempted the latter and then wondered why they experience deep rooted problems that are then difficult to address, change and overcome. Did you find this article useful? Youmanage HR offers software to help you streamline your HR processes and ensure compliance within your company. We also write articles on HR, leadership, employee engagement, health & well-being and much more. Start a free trial of Youmanage, get in touch to ask questions, or check out our blog to help you to deliver HR best practice in your business.

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Nick has more than 25 years of leadership experience, where he has held a variety of executive positions spanning marketing, business development, HR product strategy and has been CEO of Youmanage since 2010. Nick acquired the Youmanage business in 2010 and led the renewed vision and go-to-market definition of the Youmanage platform for its official re-launch in September 2013. With significant and continued product development, he continues to steer Youmanage as an industry leading cloud HR software provider. Work aside, Nick retains his huge enthusiasm for music in both trumpet and bagpipe playing!