Accountability is core value of high performing teams and it’s a key to organizational success.
It’s all about taking responsibility for your work. Though it seems easy but it’s hard to create a culture of accountability in the workplace.
In this blog post, we’ll dig deeper into the concept of accountability, benefits of accountability in the workplace and how can business leaders promote it by following simple techniques.
What is Accountability in the Workplace?
In the workplace, accountability means that everyone is responsible for their behaviours, performance, and decisions. It’s also linked to increased staff dedication and morale, which leads to improved performance.
It means knowing that the outcomes of your job affect other team members and the overall performance of the organization. When employees are held accountable, they accept responsibility for their actions rather than assuming they are the responsibility of others.
While workplace accountability is crucial, it must be balanced with the need for individuals to have autonomy in their responsibilities. They must feel empowered to take responsibility for their work and strive for greatness.
Example of Accountability in the Workplace
Some of the common examples of accountability in the workplace are:
- Show respect to time and schedules of meetings
- Complete your tasks and commitments according to agreed deadlines
- Don’t hide problems and take responsibility of problems and come up with solutions
- Admit your mistakes and rectify these
- Speak up when you see something wrong and always stand with right
Benefits of Accountability in the Workplace
The benefits of accountability in the workplace are as real as the challenges. Following are the key benefits:
Individuals and teams gain trust when all employees are held accountable for performing what they are meant to do.
It lets people rely on one another, whether it’s to meet deadlines, complete tasks, or feel safe approaching a co-worker or management for assistance.
While it might be difficult for employees to ask for help, creating a safe environment where they can seek advice strengthens teams by promoting independence and trust.
Managers, on the other hand, must lead with transparency, communicate honestly, and treat employees equitably under the supervision of universal norms and standards. This, too, contributes to a trusting atmosphere.
Fostering an accountability culture improves efficiency and production.
Employees can satisfy clearly defined expectations when they know who is responsible for what. This minimizes confusion and saves time.
When you tie accountability to performance, you’re also proactively paying attention to the process and results, correcting subpar efforts, and rewarding exceptional performance.
Hold employees accountable, educate them on expectations, and assist them to improve when they submit substandard work or fail to meet expectations.
Employees that follow instructions, conduct correctly and meet or exceed expectations should be recognized and rewarded.
By creating meaningful goals and team buy-in, building trust via support and encouragement, empowering everyone on the team, and celebrating wins together, you embed accountability into the fabric of your organization, making accountability everyone’s duty.
Strengthening organizational culture involves a concerted effort from the top down. It also necessitates a candid assessment of what works and what doesn’t.
However, putting responsibility at the center of your organization will strengthen the company culture and help you achieve better success.
What makes accountability so crucial in terms of compliance? Compliance affects every industry in today’s ever-changing environment of rules, regulations, standards, and guidelines.
Compliance is a crucial component of business operations, and it relies on people and teams being held accountable for their decisions, behaviour, and actions. Working with integrity is a part of being accountable.
You also lower the risk of penalties, lawsuits, oversight, and other non-compliance consequences by boosting accountability.
How to promote a culture of accountability in the workplace
We avoid holding others accountable because it makes us uncomfortable, we forget to do it, or we don’t know how to do it.
Here’s how to address these concerns and foster an accountability culture in the workplace.
1. Set an example by holding yourself accountable
Change begins with you when it comes to creating a culture of accountability.
Team accountability is impossible without strong personal accountability in place first, thus it’s critical to work on you before talking to co-workers or direct reports about accountability.
People will imitate your actions. The team will follow your lead if you consistently arrive late to meetings, stretch deadlines, and refuse to accept responsibility for your mistakes.
2. Set team goals
Setting goals is an important component of developing an accountability culture on your team. It clarifies what you’re attempting to accomplish together.
But keep in mind that not all goals are created equal. Goals must be quantifiable, clear, and demanding to foster accountability.
Accountability gaps are created by unclear expectations and a lack of detail. Try to be as specific as possible to fill in the gaps and eliminate the uncertainty.
Setting goals helps everyone understand their roles and what is expected of them, both individually and as a team.
3. Build a “safe space” ambiance
Building a culture of accountability requires trust and psychological safety. Without them, members of your team will be hesitant to open up, share openly, and take responsibility if things don’t go as planned.
When you create a culture of psychological safety on your team, individuals feel more comfortable taking risks, seeking feedback, and being vulnerable in front of one another during the ups and downs that occur with any employment.
4. Improve your feedback skills
Giving difficult feedback is difficult, but it is a skill that can be developed. Giving feedback is one of the most important things you can do as a manager. It’s much simpler to give difficult feedback when you give it regularly (including positive comments).
It also lowers the likelihood that your direct report will be startled by the comments they get, which could lead to additional alienation.
5. Take account of your obligations and hold each other accountable.
If you commit to providing your direct reports with additional feedback, make sure to put it on your future agenda to keep yourself accountable.
If your employee agrees to provide a work back schedule for a project by a certain day, make sure you can check in on that day.
Make sure you’re assigning action items at meetings to foster a culture of accountability or if the damage has already been done, to rectify a lack of accountability.
This is an excellent method to keep each member of your team accountable for their conduct.
Accountability should be at heart of your organizational culture. But it’s very daunting task to create a culture of accountability. Yet there are many benefits of accountability in the workplace.
It boosts employees’ morale and productivity while also providing your team with the autonomy and sense of responsibility they require to truly thrive in their work.