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How to Build a Culture of Accountability in the Workplace

Creating accountability in the workplace is one of the hot topics in today’s business world. But, do you know what it means? How it works? Or, why you need it in your business?

What is a “Culture of Accountability?”

A culture of accountability is a work environment where people demonstrate a high level of ownership to think, respond, and proceed in a manner necessary to reach business goals. Accountability in business is directly related to higher performance.

Why Should Your Company Have a Culture of Accountability?

In many companies, employees are working across time zones and different departments to achieve their business goals. Creating a culture of accountability in the workplace is a multi-dimensional and multi-layered issue in this fast-paced business world.

Building an accountability culture makes a powerful impact on your business goals and success. Accountability helps you ensure that your employees show up for shifts, know what their roles are, and meet deadlines. This structure makes every employee responsible for fulfilling their duties and automatically makes a positive impact on business growth.

How Can You Build a Culture of Accountability?

Building a culture of accountability in your business isn’t easy. It takes time and hard work to plan and implement. It also involves dedication to maintain. However, it’s the best way to ensure business success and boost employee morale and is part of maintaining a workplace that is transparent.

Understanding the meaning of “being held accountable” is the initial step in creating a culture of accountability for the company to reach desired business targets. It’s never too late to create a culture of accountability and empower the workforce, allowing your employees to perform better.

All it takes is an effective strategy. Here are 5 simple tips that will help you create accountability in your workplace.

Define the Responsibilities of Employees

First and foremost, you need to clearly define and delegate tasks to every employee so they fully understand what they are responsible for. Your staff needs defined expectations to achieve their targets. Whether it’s evergreen responsibilities, which support the mission and values of the company, or short-term or quarterly goals everything should be laid out very clearly to avoid any confusion or miscommunication.

Set Your Business Goals

Once the staff has gone through employee onboarding and understands what they are responsible for, employers should help them set individualized and measurable goals that come under their job role. Make metrics to help the employees know if they’re fulfilling their business goals.

Deliver Progress Updates

To achieve your desired goals, employees need feedback to stay motivated. This feedback can come from customer surveys, key listening posts with critical stakeholders, and ongoing project updates, or a combination of all these points. However, the most effective feedback a team member can get is from a manager.

When providing progress updates to employees, managers should have updated and correct data to show employees how their progress is making an impact.

Align Development, Learning, and Growth

Whether as a part of an ongoing development process or through frequent conversations between employees and managers, businesses must offer opportunities for their staff to learn, improve, and grow. Companies that focus on staff development to help their employees address the barriers that prevent them from reaching their business goals while learning and growing in their roles constantly.

Acknowledge and celebrate Progress

Praising your employees for a job well done is the best way to motivate them to do well. Your top employees need to know that their efforts are acknowledged and valued. So, identify, celebrate, and learn from your employees’ successes. It will motivate your employees to stretch and design responsibility role model for other staff members to follow.

A strong work culture not only inspires employees to perform better but also encourages clients to spread the word about your company. Building a culture of accountability isn’t always easy. But, strategic and careful planning can definitely help you in developing one that differentiates you from your competitors.

A culture of accountability makes it easier for employees to be responsible for their job roles. It also boosts your employees’ morale to go the extra mile as they identify their personal growth and are receiving regular appreciation for their work. So, shape a work culture that can help you promote employee responsibility and your business growth.

Normalize and Prioritize Feedback

When you start by holding yourself accountable, many employees will follow your lead; however, you will still need to be explicit about your expectations and coach your employees along the way. In a workplace that values accountability, everyone on the team has to be willing to give and get input, provide and receive constructive criticism, and express and accept praise.

In a culture of accountability, regular feedback should be a normal and comfortable part of your working relationships. If your team hears from you often about their performance on a consistent basis, they’re far more likely to be receptive to feedback, even if it’s tough to hear. Nobody respects a boss who only shows up to criticize or discipline them if they’ve done something wrong.

So if you want your team to put forth their best effort, take responsibility, and truly own their job, you have to be willing to have difficult conversations and create a safe space to talk about almost anything. Otherwise, you can expect some employees to pass the buck, blame leadership, or even lie when things hit the fan. The goal is to open a productive dialogue that encourages accountability.

To promote accountability in the workplace, you’ll need to build self-confidence among your employees. If employees aren’t reaching milestones or meeting expectations related to stated goals and objectives, have a plan in place to address their performance issues. If something isn’t working for employees, be willing to hear and address their concerns. And always create opportunities to celebrate success.

Give employees clear roles in driving Key Results

A lack of ownership is surprisingly prevalent in large organizations. In fact, 81 percent of the Workplace Accountability Survey respondents cited an inability the follow through on commitments as the biggest challenge they experienced with co-workers.

The problem often comes down to employees feeling their positions don’t contribute to the company’s overall success, which leads them to disengage from work. They begin to skirt their responsibilities, letting others pick up the slack and detracting from what could be a high-performing company culture.

When there are gaps between what an employee does each day and the results the company must achieve, it’s time to reevaluate expectations to better align actions and results. Motivate employees to complete their tasks by ensuring all team members understand how their individual contributions directly impact the achievement of Key Results.

Without micromanaging, connect expectations to those Key Results and make a point of recognizing when employees positively impact companywide goals. Doing so builds a team of focused and engaged employees who are successfully pulling their weight.

Achieve Results, Rather Than Do the Job

How many times have you heard a leader in real life or fiction demand: “I don’t care how you do it. Just get it done!” Many times, organization charts and job descriptions push people into boxes. They give people the idea that they are getting paid and using their skills to perform a defined function or set of tasks. This task-oriented mindset leads people to believe that if they perform their functions they’ve done what they’re supposed to do, whether or not the result was achieved.

Effective leaders operate on the premise that their people must focus on achieving results. They lead people beyond the boundaries of their jobs and inspire them to pursue results by creating an environment that motivates them to ask, “What else can I do?” over and over until the results are achieved. They manage their people so that their “job” is to achieve results. Each person’s daily activities must be in alignment with the targeted results.