When you have employees who do their jobs well, it goes without saying that it reflects well on them, on you as their leader, and the company as a whole. It is important that the projects they are assigned reflect their individual talents as well as the goals you as their leader want to achieve.
Of course, not all projects turn out as expected and this can be frustrating and even embarrassing for the members of the team who are responsible for them. Just as they should accept responsibility for good outcomes, your employees need to accept responsibility for bad ones.
Here are some powerful ways to encourage your employees to step up and accept responsibility for their results -- good and bad -- and take pride in their jobs:
Show employees how what they do makes the world a better place.
Keep track of your organization's results, and show every employee how the job he or she does contribute to these outcomes. Reward those employees, teams and departments that are meeting or exceeding their goals, and work closely with those who are not. When employees know that they play an important role in the success of your business -- and you take time to recognize their contributions -- you will help instill pride throughout the entire organization, raising the bar for everyone.
Encourage (and reward) your people to take more responsibility.
Some employees instinctively take responsibility in the workplace, but others will have a harder time doing so. Encourage them by recognizing and rewarding their exceptional performance. When work is not satisfactory, privately help correct mistakes and show clearly how things could -- and should -- be done differently in the future.
Set goals, then allow your employees to find the way to get there.
When something goes wrong -- and as every leader knows, it surely will -- let the employees who are responsible for the problem figure out the best approach for addressing it. Set the standards, but allow your people to decide exactly how they will attain them. Be sure you delegate both the responsibility and the freedom to decide how to make things right.
Step back from making all the decisions yourself.
If you have to approve every decision that's made in your business, then something is very wrong. Push decision-making down to the lowest level possible in your organization. To ensure your people make the right decisions, however, make sure they are trained to make decisions, and that you and your leadership team model the kinds of outcomes you want your employees to achieve.
Provide your team with a real sense of ownership.
Give employees the opportunity to experience all aspects of a product, from inspecting their work to dealing with customers. When they are directly involved in more than one small or isolated area, they will feel a greater sense of ownership within the organization. People will always work harder for something they feel they have ownership of. Trust them to make the right choices, but also make sure your employees know that you are available for advice, if needed.