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Accountability is foundational to building effective working relationships and critical to trust at any level. Being able to hold team members and colleagues accountable every day may sound like a tall order, but it’s one that AgTexas Farm Credit took on to strengthen both its culture and its business performance.
Engaging with FCCS in mid-2021, eight of AgTexas’ senior leaders completed the two-day Crucial Accountability class, learning to diagnose an accountability issue in their team members and colleagues, and close the performance gap.
“We knew we needed to model accountability before we could expect it of our employees, so we began our Crucial Accountability journey with our senior leaders, initially working to overcome a communication issue,” says Kayla Robinson, AgTexas CEO. “It was extremely well received by our leaders, who walked out with skills to immediately put into practice.”
Based on this reception, three additional sessions of Crucial Accountability have been delivered to senior and mid-level managers.
“Accountability should be present for everyone, every day, and everyone should be equipped to have these conversations when they see a colleague not performing at their peak, or simply to be able to get their jobs done,” says Maggie Savage, AgTexas HR manager.
Crucial Accountability develops the ability to diagnose the root cause of an accountability issue that’s impacting performance and then use conversational skills to deliver feedback to achieve a positive outcome. Sources for accountability or performance issues include both motivational and ability gaps, which can stem from personal, social and structural reasons.
“It can be easy to attribute a performance issue to laziness, and then feel frustrated by not knowing how to solve the problem,” says Michele Padilla, director and senior consultant in FCCS’ Learning and Consulting practice. “Crucial Accountability helps you hold people accountable for their performance by having the often difficult conversations to explore the reasons behind the issue and addressing them.”
More than one-third of the AgTexas team has undergone the Crucial Accountability training, with the intent to continue offering the class until all AgTexas employees have had the opportunity to take it. The two-day class includes presentation, discussion and role-playing with in-the-moment feedback to help participants master the skills, supported with course materials that serve as an ongoing resource.
“We’ve seen notable improvements throughout our organization as we’ve rolled out Crucial Accountability,” says Kayla. “When employees see that it’s something leadership believes in, they rise to the occasion, and together we’re building a culture of accountability that’s benefiting our employees and our members.”
For more information on Crucial Accountability, Crucial Conversations or other Leadership Academy courses from the FCCS Accelerate Center, contact Michele Padilla at 720-939-7182 or via email.
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