Fostering a Culture of Accountability in the Workplace
One of the crucial elements in a high performing team is accountability. When employees are accountable they show dedication towards their work, there is a rise in morale and have more knowledge about what their job demands from them.
An organization that practices the culture of accountability is more likely to keep their staff engaged and satisfied at the same time. Because when your employees are accountable then they become more responsible with their jobs and become committed and invested in taking the company forward.
To give you a clear idea of how strong the practice of accountability in the workplace is here is a stat- 91% of employees feel that accountability is one of the most important things they’d like to see in their workplace.
What is accountability in the workplace?
Accountability in the workplace basically means that the employees are responsible for their decisions, actions, and performance. It is directly proportional to an increase in employee productivity and commitment, leading to high performance.
It is a pathway for employees to gain ownership and take the initiative in what they do. Doing this boosts their morale and make their work meaningful. The main point of accountability is that your employees are responsible for their job and do not assume that it is someone else’s job. It is about accepting the outcome and engaging in getting a positive result.
It mainly includes-
Finding something crucial that is going to eventually reflect in the results and handing that task to the relevant staff.
Taking up a task and making sure that it gets completed within the allotted period of time.
Assisting employees with critical tasks and keeping in mind to provide the highest quality of work.
Being honest with your peers about the mistakes of an ongoing project and working on the possible solutions. Take the responsibility instead of handing it over to someone.
Managers and employees both being accountable which shows that it is not one-sided and balanced at the same time.
Trying to understand employees’ feelings first when holding them accountable.
Personal accountability should always be taken into consideration because if one is not personally convinced then they cannot reflect it in their work.
6 ways to promote accountability in the workplace
1. Define Goals
As a manager, it is important that you provide a clear understanding of what is expected from their team and what they will be accountable for. Present before them on how they are going to contribute for the greater good of the organization.
When employees are clear about what they will be doing they become more clear about their responsibilities. There is a greater sense of enthusiasm when they know how their work is going to change the dynamic of the company. It is one of the most effective ways to promote accountability within the organization.
2. Highlight Employees Progress
Another good way to encourage accountability is by showing your employees their progress in the organization. Highlighting their progress will ensure that they are accountable for the outcomes of their work. Doing this will not only help your employees become more invested in their work but it will also help them create an outline of what is expected of them.
Highlighting also encourages healthy work competition as well. When your employees achieve something, recognizing them creates a positive attitude and they become more responsible and efficient.
3. An environment of trust and support
A working environment where trust and support are missing, employees fear that their mistakes will have consequences. This further leads to less accountability in the workplace. Also, there is a likely chance that your employees will find someone else at fault when a problem arises.
However, it is completely opposite when there are trust and support within team members. Employees are accountable for their own work and provide support to others when something goes wrong. They trust each other and try to resolve any conflicts with a possible solution.
4. Fulfil Commitment
As a manager, it's always a good thing to meet your commitment. It not only reflects your work authority but also sets an example for your employees. It shows you are responsible for what you do and have honesty in what you do.
When you create a working environment of commitment your employees are more likely to become proficient in their jobs. Becoming more proficient means they are accountable and are more sincere about their job. This makes them productive and more engaged.
5. Have that conversation
When you see your employees struggling, it might be time to have a good chat with them. Have that one-on-one conversation to get a better understanding of what is bothering your employees. It might be difficult at first but once you allow open dialogue you get a wider perspective on why their performance has dropped.
One-on-one conversations help you to figure out their problems and work on them. This way they will become more accountable about what they do because they will have the trust of their manager. A trust that their manager is going to back them up if anything goes wrong. Furthermore, doing this will boost their morale and make them more confident.
6. Follow up timely
Once you have made clear of the expectations from your employees, you must follow up with them often. Doing so is a crucial part of practising accountability and your employees will keep in mind that they have a job in hand to complete.
Following up with job expectations is a good way to showcase that the employees’ development matters to you and the organization. And much heed is given to their personal and professional growth. This will boost your employees’ work performance and increase employee engagement as they will become more responsible in their jobs.
Summing it up
Being the leader of the organization, it should be your commitment to establishing a mindset that your employees take responsibility for their own actions. Building a culture of accountability might not be easy but it is not hard as well. It just needs determination and a positive approach so that employees can accept it. Accountability needs to be portrayed in a manner that it becomes a part of your company culture. In the long run, it will help you nurture your employees to become leaders, productive, and more committed to their work.
A complete guide to employee engagement