Accountability Is Key for Interpreter Managers

This post is a continuation of the series for interpreter managers covering six steps that are essential to creating a great place for interpreters to work.  This post focuses on the fourth step: Accountability.

We’re continuing our series on creating a positive workplace environment for medical interpreters.  We’ve talked a lot about what managers can do to recognize and support the interpreter.  Today I want to discuss accountability.

Recently, I heard someone say, “Clarity is kindness.”  As a manager it is your job to make your team successful.  Without your staff, you don’t have a job.  So if you like what you do, you need to make sure you have a group of people that bring you success.  That only happens if you help them succeed.  

We’ve been talking about recognizing the successes.  That’s both fun and relatively easy.  The reality is that you also have to address opportunities for improvement.  These conversations are usually the hardest to have.  Often times they happen because emotions run high.  The interpreter did something that upset you and now you’re going to handle it.  

But these conversations don’t have to be hard.  You can have them without heads exploding or tempers flaring.  

A great manager makes the expectations for job performance clear.  They also make the consequences clear.  This is done when you tell your team what success looks like.  

Managers should offer their team clear job descriptions.  These descriptions should describe success.  What are the tactical expectations?  What behaviors do you expect to see when they interact with others?  What are the parameters they need to operate in?

You can also tell them what they can expect from you.  Yes, being clear about how you will interact with them is a great way to demonstrate that you hold yourself to the same standards you expect of them.  Tell them how you’ll support their success.  Explain to them what it will look like if you need to address concerns should they arise.  

Finally, accountability can improve your return on investment.  Investing in your people is the best way to improve business outcomes.  Your group is only as successful as the weakest link.  Holding people accountably can assure that you keep great interpreters on your team.    

If you provide this level of job performance clarity there shouldn’t be any surprises when you have to hold them accountable for poor performance.  Any conversation you have should be expected.  Be consistent in how you handle things and your staff will respect your leadership and dedication to them.  

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Posted on November 24, 2015 and filed under Manager.