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  • Wendy Bruce, ACC, CPCC

Accountability and the repeat offender

Week 1 - Are you holding the right person accountable?

Week 2 - Holding the right person accountable

Week 3 - Accountability and the repeat offender

Week 4 - Holding someone accountable for the last time - professional development plans


Week 3

Following last week’s post, we’ll take a look Joe the seemingly innocent repeat offender, and how the accountability conversation leads into a professional development plan designed to help Joe take on more accountability.


Manager: Joe, I agree this all sounds unavoidable, but this is the third time in as many months that the unexpected has gotten the better of you.


Joe: What do you mean?


Manager: Do you remember when the CEO requested a new laptop with very particular requirements?


Joe: Yes, but he told me verbally, he didn’t put in a ticket and either he wasn’t clear or I misunderstood some of what he wanted.


Manager: At the time we discussed the fact that you could have followed up with the CEO, given him a ticket to sign off, rather than expecting him to submit a ticket; that you could have looped me in to get clarification if the CEO was not available to you.


Joe: Yes, but I didn’t know until a week later that he wasn’t happy with the machine because he was on the road.


Manager: Exactly, he needed that particular set-up for his road trip and ended up without what he wanted. Giving him a ticket to sign off before you set the machine up would have avoided the misunderstanding. The third case was…..


Joe: I know, the fact that I didn’t get my budget to you in time and we are unable to purchase the machines we need.


Manager: It’s deeper than that, Joe. Your job requires that you have a planned obsolescence program in place so we can anticipate capital expenses in advance of breakdown. Most of our machines are more than 3 years old and so the budget request was to be supported by the obsolescence program. Even if you had given me the numbers on time your request would not have been approved due to lack of justification.


Joe: It seems like I can’t do anything right by you, I don’t think you understand how many tickets our IT team deals with every day, how many unplanned emergencies come up, I can barely keep up and you’ve denied my request for another support person.


Manager: It seems we are both frustrated. I have nothing but high regard for the quality of the work you do, what concerns me is your poor judgement on things. For example, if you had the planned obsolescence program in place, you’d have more newer computers on desks and fewer tickets to support. I can buy 10 new machines with what a new support person would cost in a year, and our employees would be happier.


Joe: So what now? Am I fired? On a PIP?


Next week we’ll look at moving Joe to a Professional Development Plan (PDP), NOT to be confused with a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP).

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