May 14, 2021
Here are a few ways you can develop the kind of accountability that makes you a better construction manager.
Set clear expectations for yourself
As a business owner, you need to have a clear set of expectations of what you will do and what you will never do. This can go for your personal life as well as your professional life. If you are going to be an accountable person, you need to know what you are responsible for in no uncertain terms.
Establish an accountability partner
Establishing an accountability partner is as simple as finding a person you trust, telling them the expectations you have placed on yourself, and asking them to follow up with you regularly to ensure you haven't lowered your standards. In finance, it is imperative to have someone you are accountable to.
Countless construction companies each year get in legal trouble for laundering funds or evading taxes; when you are the project manager and provided with access to company finances, make sure there is someone within your organization that goes behind you to check invoices and balances, this could save you a massive headache in the long run.
Establish a board of directors (or an accountability group)
Depending on the size of your business, your board of directors could be employees that are on the payroll, or it could be friends and family members that volunteer as advisers.
Your board of directors needs to have at least a moderate amount of business sense, and they need to be easy to reach in crisis. Should you ever find yourself in the position of making a big decision quickly, you will need to access your board of directors to either obtain their permission to act or discuss alternative courses of action.
An accountability group can help you strategize for future growth and set goals that move your business forward. Most importantly, checking in with other people regularly to report on your progress makes it much more likely that you'll take action and get things done.
Allow the people you lead to question you
Allowing employees to question your methods does not mean you are allowing them to question your authority. If you have an employee that is feeling uncertain about a leadership practice or division in your company, you should establish an open-door policy and allow them to ask difficult questions.
It is okay for specific issues to remain private, but use your best judgment to determine how to respond to their questions and be as open and honest as possible.
Hold yourself to the same standard you hold others to
As a business owner, you likely invest in a particular security or monitoring service. It is essential that you adhere to the same policies and procedures others are expected to.
Suppose your building has a strict internet security policy; set your work computer up with the same internet permissions as others. If you regularly monitor employee chats, make your conversations public record.
Anything that needs to be discussed privately should be consulted on paper or in-person to avoid legal trouble and confusion.
As intimidating as developing accountability looks from the outside, it is a precious asset that no business manager can afford to be without.
Accountability can protect you from legal backlash and disgruntled employees. When you make an effort to be the same leader behind closed doors as you are in front of those you are leading, they will know you are a trustworthy person who is worth following.
As always, you don't have to go through these alone. Whether it's about construction accounting or accountability - let me know how I can help.
About The Author:
Sharie DeHart, QPA is the co-founder of Business Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the leading expert in managing outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services companies and cash management accounting for small construction companies across the USA. She encourages Contractors and Construction Company Owners to stay current on their tax obligations and offers insights on how to manage the remaining cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and profits so they can put more money in the bank. Call 1-800-361-1770 or firstname.lastname@example.org