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Episode 219 | Bridging the Gaps in Business Accountability with The Accountability Equation™

tgpe podcast with maureen werrbach

WITH MAUREEN WERRBACH

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  • Episode 219 | Bridging the Gaps in Business Accountability with The Accountability Equation™ 00:00

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Looking to improve accountability in your group practice?

In this episode of The Group Practice Exchange Podcast, I dive deep into the topic of accountability and how it can transform your practice. I’m also sharing some exciting details on how you can implement my accountability framework in your practice. If you’re ready to take your group practice to the next level, this episode is a must-listen! Join me as I discuss:

  • What The Accountability Equation™ framework is all about and how it can benefit your group practice.
  • Why building a culture of accountability requires more than just goal setting and assigning tasks; it involves creating an inclusive environment, addressing systemic biases, providing regular feedback and coaching, and implementing consequences when expectations are not met.
  • The importance of ongoing self-reflection and adapting to change as a leader.
  • Actionable strategies to help you establish and nurture accountability within your practice.

By implementing accountability in your practice, employees have a clear foundation for understanding expectations and the direction the organization is heading. This clarity and understanding can help enable your staff to fulfill their accountabilities and recognize how their roles contribute to the organization’s success.

If you enjoyed this episode, you won’t want to miss the next five episodes, where I’ll dive into the details of The Accountability Equation.

Thanks for listening! Like what you heard? Give us 5 stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra support? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners on our website www.thegrouppracticeexchange.com/exchange. Talk to you next time!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The Accountability Equation™ FREE Masterclass

The Accountability Equation™ Quiz

Connect with Maureen Werrbach & The Group Practice Exchange:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

LinkedIn

This episode is sponsored by TherapyNotes. TherapyNotes is an EHR software that helps behavioral health professionals manage their practice with confidence and efficiency. I use TherapyNotes in my own group practice and love its amazing support team, billing features, and scheduling capabilities. It serves us well as a large group practice owner.

Do you ever wish for a financial therapist who could relieve you from the last few months of bookkeeping, talk you off the edge when you’re running into issues with Quickbooks, or help you work through a profit plan for growth? GreenOak Accounting does just that! GreenOak Accounting is an accounting firm that specializes in working with group practices. Their value goes WAY beyond bookkeeping; they can help you get on track for financial success. Schedule a free consultation by going to http://greenoakaccounting.com/tgpe

Transcript:

Maureen Werrbach

You’re listening to the Group Practice Exchange podcast. We’re the business development resource for group practice owners where we talk candidly about business ownership and leadership. From practice building tips to live coaching to real talk episodes with other group practice owners, we’re the resource you’ve been looking for to help you grow your group practice. I’m your host, group practice owner and entrepreneur Maureen Werbach. 

This episode is sponsored by TherapyNotes. TherapyNotes is an online EHR practice management and billing software designed for mental health professionals. TherapyNotes has everything you need to manage patient records, schedule appointments, create rich documentation and bill insurance right at your fingertips. They offer free and unlimited live support seven days a week. Their streamlined software is accessible wherever and whenever you need it. To get two free months, go to www.therapynotes.com forward slash R forward slash the group practice exchange. 

Need a new accountant or bookkeeper? Meet Green Oak accounting, an accounting firm that works specifically with private practices. They do all of your accounting needs from budgeting to accounting to bookkeeping and payroll to building your dashboard. On top of that, they can help you set up your profit first systems. Go to Green Oak accounting dot com and mention the group practice exchange for a hundred dollars off your first month. 

Hey everyone, welcome back to another episode of the group practice exchange podcast. I’m really excited to share how today’s and the next six weeks of podcast episodes are going to be like. We’re going to be talking about my new program called the accountability equation and this is going to be six weeks of weekly episodes that will give you insight on how to set up accountability in your group practice. And so today I want to talk about what the accountability equation is, how I came to build it, what the concepts and the frameworks are for the accountability equation. And then each week we’re going to dive into one of the specific aspects of the accountability equation. So the accountability equation is a program that’s designed to help group practice owners create accountability systems that reduce linchpins, redundancies, and gaps in accountabilities while helping everyone in the business understand their roles and responsibilities. 

You might be thinking accountability systems aren’t new and they’re not. There are a ton of accountability systems out there, but I felt like they each were missing key components to the overall picture when it comes to true accountability. And that’s where the accountability equation comes in. It bridges those gaps through this focused visionary lens. And so that’s what I want to talk about. So the way the accountability equation is set up, we have the main piece of it, which is called the five A’s. So we’re going to begin with assemble and that’s where you’re going to assemble all the roles and functions within your organization. Once you’ve clearly defined those roles and functions, we’ll assess your leadership team to ensure that the right people are in the right roles. Once your leadership team is intentionally designed to match the roles and functions of your business, we’ll then assign accountabilities inside of an accountability tracker and learn how to coach your team to success. In order to maintain those accountabilities, we’ll then learn how to regularly audit goals and responsibilities. And then finally, we’ll end the accountability equation method in action plan where you’ll build team meeting agendas that bring results. 

So that’s the five A’s and that journey is going to take you through the beginning to the end of creating an accountability system that’s going to work for your business. The goals in this equation is that it’s one going to strengthen your organizational culture. Let’s be honest, organizational culture is a hot topic these days. If you’re my age or older, you’ve likely dealt with bad bosses and horrible workplace cultures while staying at your job for one, two, three plus years because your resume had to have job longevity or else something was wrong with you as an employee. These days, things are drastically different. People aren’t staying in shitty workplaces and short-term jobs are not a problem these days and so people want to work at a place that has strong foundation and a culture that promotes autonomy, support and growth. And accountability gives everyone in an organization a clear foundation for what’s expected of everyone, the direction the organization is going in and buy-in to help move the organization forward. 

Another goal for this is it’ll increase the ability and speed in which your practice can manage change. Change is really hard, especially in the workplace. One of the primary complaints most employees make across any industry is related to change. A fear of change, a lack of understanding about why change is happening, a feeling of having a lack of voice in decision-making when it comes to change. And then the second piece is an issue of siloed departments where one department is working on something that the next department needs to take afterwards but they don’t use all the things that the first department started with and so everything that they worked on is essentially moot. A lack of communication and understanding of what each part of the organization is doing is part of that problem and so when we put together roles and functions that everyone’s aware of, that helps everyone in the organization know who’s doing what and why and it also removes resistance to change. It also helps team members feel valued.

If you think about a time when you were an employee, I know that might be a while ago, but think about a time where you felt valued as an employee. It likely relates to a job where you knew exactly what your role was, you knew exactly what your responsibilities were and your skills and interests aligned with that role. So the accountability equation will improve morale by helping the right people be in the right seats. They’ll be able to accomplish what their accountabilities are and they’ll be able to see how their role plays an important part in the success of the organization. No confusion, no ambiguity. It’s great. 

It also decreases barriers to effective communication within the organization. Since communication issues come from leadership, leadership needs to model what communication is like within the organization and the accountability equation establishes a clear line of communication through structured meeting agendas and clear accountabilities that are transparent throughout the whole organization. It also increases engagement of employees with the leadership team as a whole. We know that the role each of us plays in the organization, where our responsibilities start and end and where the baton gets handed off accountability wise, and it increases collaboration and support among team members. It helps leaders and their teams work side by side towards a goal instead of this me versus you when accountability problems arise. 

It also increases the level of accountability and commitment from each individual. By nature, humans want to be a part of something bigger. They want to know that the work that they’re doing has meaning and purpose. And the only way for us to feel meaningfulness at work is by knowing what’s expected of us to intentionally agree to it and to be able to commit to doing it. When employees and leadership know what their accountabilities are and have played a role in creating those accountabilities and they can actually complete them, they’ll naturally hold themselves accountable for succeeding. 

It also increases the ability to make value and vision based decisions. An organization’s values and vision are only as true as the employees believe and live them, right? We can have a vision and a mission statement on our website, but if our employees aren’t living and believing those values and that mission, your practice isn’t working within the values and vision. When an organization has a clear role and responsibilities and accountability measures, it’ll weed out employees who aren’t a good fit for the future of the organization and it’ll increase the success of hiring employees who are fully aligned with that vision and those values. 

It also increases the potential to attract and retain the best people. Clarity is king. When candidates fully understand the role they’re applying to and they accept it, it reduces the likelihood of the well-known wrong person for the wrong role scenario. That scenario is draining. I know we’ve all been through it. I’ve worked with so many business owners who’ve had bad hires because they weren’t clear on the role and they didn’t explain the accountabilities that that role would have. And after hiring that person, realizing that they couldn’t do what was expected of them, it was a waste of time and money for the organization and the employee. 

And then lastly, another goal of the accountability equation is full clarity of the mission within the organization. I know I’ve mentioned this, but it bears repeating. But accountabilities that align with the mission of the organization create full clarity across every person within the practice. People who don’t align with that mission will feel a pull to leave, realizing that they’re not a fit for the position that they have and the future of your practice. The accountability equation hammers in those accountabilities with a force of clarity that can’t be denied or pushed aside. 

So I want to end with just talking about what differentiates the accountability equation from other programs. So when I was building the accountability equation, one of the things that stood out to me that was missing from other accountability programs was a focus on anti-oppression and how much accountability teachings are steeped historically in systems of oppression. Building a culture of accountability requires more than just goal setting and assigning tasks. It requires creating an environment where individuals feel empowered to take ownership of their work, where transparency is open and communication is valued, and where accountability is seen as a shared responsibility. It’s also about creating an inclusive environment where all individuals feel valued and supported. It involves recognizing and addressing systemic biases and creating a workplace culture that regularly assesses and combats inequities and oppression. So providing regular feedback and coaching as well is critical to accountability. And I don’t see this a lot in a lot of other accountability programs. So this includes providing constructive feedback on performance, recognizing and rewarding success, providing support and guidance when individuals are struggling. 

Many accountability programs do amazing work around supporting business owners with creating accountability, but they fall short when it comes to supporting business owners on implementing them. When we implement accountability within our organization, it only works when we can successfully provide clear and regular feedback and coaching in a really safe manner. So the accountability equation goes a step beyond creating an accountability system by helping you coach your team to success. While accountability is primarily about empowering individuals to take ownership of their work, there also needs to be consequences for failing to meet those expectations. This could include coaching, reassignment of tasks, performance improvement plans, or even termination. Most accountability programs out there stop short of discussing consequences of failing to meet expectations. The accountability equation provides a clear way to know when it’s time to coach, pip, or terminate an employee who isn’t meeting the accountability measures. 

Accountability involves not only looking outward at the actions of others, but also inward at our own behavior and performance. Self-reflection is an important aspect of accountability, and it allows individuals to identify areas of improvement and take ownership of their personal and professional development. When an organization lacks accountability, it increases the likelihood of finger pointing and not taking ownership. And that’s where the accountability equation comes in to provide a structured way to weave self-reflection into accountability, which reduces handholding by leadership and creates autonomy. 

So, lastly, what differentiates the accountability equation is that accountability isn’t a one-time event. Rather, it’s an ongoing process of continuous improvement. This requires a commitment to learning and adapting, identifying areas for improvement, and being willing to change course when necessary. The accountability equation will set you up for success by breaking down rigid thinking, fear of change, and turns employees into seekers of growth and change. 

So I’m super excited about this program coming out. And so the next five weeks after today, I’ll be talking about the five A’s in depth. So next week, we’ll be talking specifically about assemble and everything that comes with the assemble section of the accountability equation. The following week, we’ll talk about assess, assessing your team, knowing the tenets of a great leader, leadership, and business self-assessments. The following week, we’ll discuss assign, and this is where you’ll learn about how to assign accountabilities, common accountabilities that are assigned in a group practice, and a little bit about coaching through accountability. After that, we’ll talk about audit, because there is no accountability without auditing your business and knowing your business’s KPIs. And then lastly, we’ll talk about action plan and how to make sure that you’re continuously reviewing your team’s accountabilities and changing course when necessary. We’ll see you next week. 

Also, if you haven’t already, I highly encourage you to go to my website, the group practice exchange dot com and take the accountability equation quiz. You’ll see it right there on the home page. And what this will do is it’ll help you see which of the five A’s you need the most help in and you’ll be able to then register for our free masterclass to learn how to apply that framework in your practice. Hope to see you there. 

Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra support? Join the exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into. Get it at www.members.the group practice exchange dot com forward slash exchange. See you next week.

Thanks For Listening

Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra suppor? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into visit www dot members dot the group practice exchange dot com forward slash exchange. See you next week.

Resources

Here are the resources and guides we recommend based on this episode

Specialized Accounting for Private Practice

At GreenOak Accounting, we offer accounting services that cater specifically to solo and group therapy practices. Our services range from bookkeeping to budgeting & forecasting, Profit First support, profitability analysis, payroll, tax preparation, compensation analysis, and much more.

Through working with over 100+ therapist clients, we have seen what works and what doesn’t, so our team can help guide you on the path to financial. Our specialized services can be customized based on the size and needs of your private practice.

For more information about our packages and the different ways to work with us, please visit our website at https://www.greenoakaccounting.com/ and schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our team members!

therapy notes

*Need a good EHR for your group practice? TherapyNotes is it. I’ve been using it for years in my own group practice, and it does really well when it comes to having the features group practice owners need. Try it out for FREE for 2 months by clicking here.

* I am an affiliate for some of the businesses I recommend. These are companies that I use in my own group practice, and make recommendations based off of my experience with them. When you use some of these companies through my links, I receive compensation, which helps me continue to offer great free information on my podcast, blog, Facebook group, and website.

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Meet your host

Maureen

Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here:

About

The show

The podcast is structured so that you get practice building tips in small doses, where an episode can be listened to (and a group practice building lesson can be learned) in a single car ride.

Episodes are structured into categories: coaching sessions where I coach a group practice owner on a specific topic, tips of the day by yours truly, real talk where you get to be a fly on the wall while an established group practice owner and I talk about the highs and lows of ownership, and trainings done by experts in the field.

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* The content of this post is intended to serve as general advice and information. It is not to be taken as legal advice and may not account for all rules and regulations in every jurisdiction. For legal advice, please contact an attorney.

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