7 Steps to Improve Peer-to-Peer Accountability and Create High Performing Teams

Employees waste an average of $1,500 and an eight-hour workday for every crucial conversation they avoid.

This according to research conducted by VitalSmarts1. Their research also showed that common resource-sapping avoidance tactics include ruminating excessively about crucial issues, complaining, getting angry, doing unnecessary work, and avoiding the other person altogether.

A Harvard Business Review articlestates:

  • In the weakest teams, there is no accountability
  • In mediocre teams, bosses are the source of accountability
  • In high performance teams, peers manage the vast majority of performance problems with one another

Accountability starts with an agreement between colleagues with clear goals and roles. Adopt these 7 steps to boost your team’s performance:

  1. Clarify each person’s role and contribution, starting with your own.
  2. Make a public statement showing your commitment to the success of the project. Invite others to do the same.
  3. Who needs encouragement? What successful milestones can you celebrate now?
  4. Confront what is not working whether that is an individual behavior, a set of systems, lack of setting time aside to go through the facts of the situation. One fact may be that a member of the team simply does not have the skill necessary to contribute. Or that the team leader has not championed the appropriate resources the team needs.
  5. Own your contribution to where things went off the rails.
  6. Partner with your peers and other resources to identify solutions.
  7. Respond to the situation without delay. Revisit the clarity of the project/program to be sure that next steps, roles, responsibility, and commitments are clear.

It’s your job as leader to model accountability, as well as create a space of psychological safety where each person is encouraged to hold anyone else accountable in the best interest of the team.

What can you do to champion better peer-to-peer accountability with your team? What gets in the way? What is one step you can take today?

Download Clearwater’s free ebook, Tough Talkfor more on peer-to-peer accountability (see Chapter 9, starting at Page 71).

Contact Clearwater Consulting here or call (404)634-4332 to schedule a conversation on additional ways we help organizations like yours accelerate transformative change for higher performance.  

 1. https://www.vitalsmarts.com/press/2010/04/cost-of-conflict-why-silence-is-killing-your-bottom-line/  

2. https://hbr.org/2014/05/the-best-teams-hold-themselves-accountable