Accountability may seem like an old-fashioned term, but it's alive and well today. We may have thought about it in the past as maybe a manager looming over you, asking for something maybe that you did or didn't do, but today we think about it we're really trying to set our team members up for success if you think about it it's an important measure of employee success
What Is Accountability
Accountability means the willingness to accept responsibility for your actions. Any job requires a certain amount of accountability. No one can stand over you full time to make sure you're working, so accountability ensures that you have an incentive to fly right. Whether you're waiting tables or managing large corporate accounts, accountability will count.
Accountability in the workplace is all about setting and holding people to a common expectation by clearly defining the company’s mission, values, and goals. Employee accountability means holding all levels of employees (from the part-time hourly worker to the C-suite executive) responsible for accomplishing business goals.
Why Should You Increase Accountability in the Workplace?
Accountability in the workplace is about employees taking responsibility and ownership for their decisions, actions, performance, and behavior.
Accountability in the workplace is also about building trust and staying committed to doing the right thing for the business consistently. An accountable employee will take responsibility for their results and outcomes and won’t assume it’s up to management to pick up the slack.
Having a member of the team that isn’t meeting their commitments and isn’t being held accountable causes frustration and disengagement with the rest of the team.
According to Partners In Leadership, a lack of accountability in the workplace leads to:
· Low team morale
· Unclear priorities across the team
· Employees become less engaged
· The team or individual is not meeting goals
· Low levels of trust
· High turnover
So why is it important to stay accountable in the workplace?
1. Boosts Employee Engagement
Greater employee engagement can lead to higher productivity levels. An accountable person focuses on their work and collaborates with their team members to deliver key results.
They also actively participate in:
· Seeking feedback from their manager or teammates.
· Taking ownership to work on their shortcomings.
· Finding innovative solutions for challenges.
Promoting such activities helps deliver tasks on time while boosting employee satisfaction, engagement, and workplace harmony.
Moreover, an accountable system avoids instances of micromanagement, which in turn builds trust among employees. This environment allows employees to focus on their work — as they feel their team members won’t judge or criticize them if they make a mistake.
2. Helps Build Trust
Having a team full of employees who never accept responsibility for their actions can foster a toxic organizational culture.
Employees might feel that their co-workers will blame them so they can get out of tricky situations.
But when done the right way, team accountability helps build trust.
When people feel you have treated them fairly, they might like you and would actively listen to you in the future.
This positive connection encourages your employees to be more accountable towards their commitments, building trust along the way.
Moreover, when everybody answers for their own performance, employees feel confident that their team members will support them even if they make a mistake.
3. Improves Performance
One of the qualities of accountable employees is that they’re aware that their tasks and achievements directly affect the organization’s results.
That’s why they set clear goals to complete their tasks and provide quality work.
This drives them to give their best for small tasks and critical projects, leading to high performance and greater organizational success.
How To Increase Accountability In The Workplace
The two biggest reasons that we resist holding others accountable are because we’re uncomfortable doing it and because we forget to do it. Here’s how to tackle these issues.
Define Roles and Responsibilities for Every Team Member
Make sure everyone knows who does what and get feedback and concurrence make sure that each person knows and understands give them the opportunity to ask questions maybe they don't feel like their skill to do that or maybe they just need more clarification
Provide Performance Feedback
It’s very important to provide your employee with actionable and regular feedback – both positive and negative. Positive feedback creates a sense of accomplishment in the employee and further improves their ability so they work harder to achieve their goals.
The constant contact they have with their superiors will strengthen their sense of being valued within the workplace. Factors like timeliness, attendance, day-off requests, and efficiency at work should be used in the flow of performance feedback.
Provide Specific Deadlines
Let everyone know when task our deliverables are due and set up any kind of notification so they know in advance and again ask any questions give people the opportunity to let you know if it's reasonable that that can be completed in that time frame
Keep Track and Document
This is the strongest thing, is to document and give it to everyone on the team so that they have proof or they have something that they can look at to see what they're responsible for and what every team member is responsible for, but ensure that everyone is accountable, that they really know. we've probably all been in those situations where someone was expecting something from us but really we were the last ones to know.
Alerts Triggers and Notifications
With today's tools, it's easy to set up so that people can be reminded in advance maybe during or even after and again give people time or the ability to ask questions and here's my biggest tip is to use tools today we have so many tools and apps that can support the task visibility and time tracking so this gives a little bit more information about accountability and so you can ascertain whether the team members are being accountable or not
Regardless of the performance of the organization, team leaders should make a continual effort to improve accountability in the workplace. If you notice indicators of a lack of accountability, such as bad behavior being tolerated, as usual, disengaged staff, and so on, you'll need to take action. Many firms are likely encountering difficulties in holding their staff accountable in the current era, as navigating new work and team management methods implies that traditional methods of discipline aren't as important. Maintaining a clear understanding of what is required of your employees, on the other hand, will help your company adjust to this new way of working more quickly. When all members of the team have transparent insight into what is expected of them and are made aware of the repercussions should they fall short of these expectations, you can keep your entire team on the right track. The tips mentioned above will help get you started, but the rest is up to you.