Accountability is the acceptance of responsibility for one’s own acts. It’s a basic part of any workplace culture, but many don’t know how to make it work. The most common way of ensuring accountability is by assigning a system of monitoring, feedback, and rewards to each employee to allow them to determine the goals they want to achieve.
The people who are accountable for their actions have no reason to act otherwise. They have no incentive to perform beyond the rewards that come from meeting goals. Accountability is a form of forced compliance, but it’s not enough in the long run. The goal of any good company is to have every member of its workforce have a reason to work hard for the company. The current system of accountability that is commonly used in most workplaces like how to avoid bad customers.
Accountability in Workplace What Does That Mean
The term accountability brings up two different definitions mostly used in the business world. The first definition is the responsibility of an individual to achieve certain goals within a certain timeframe. The second definition is the process of holding an individual responsible for their actions. In our workplace, accountability means that everyone involved in a process should have access to the information they need and should be answerable for their decisions and actions.
If everyone in a workplace is held accountable for their actions, more people will be willing to take on the responsibility of driving milestones toward completion. Accountability means that people are encouraged to work hard not because they have to but because they want to. Everyone in the company should know what is expected of them, who decides if they’re meeting expectations, and what will happen as a result of their actions.
Consequences of Lack of Accountability at Workplace
Without proper accountability at work, there is a lack of incentive for employees to perform. This results in an ineffective workplace culture where people are working at less than 100 percent. Another negative effect of accountability is that it can make workplaces stressful. Depending on the type of workplace culture, it can be difficult for everyone to have shared goals when everyone is accountable for their own actions. Although it’s easy for a company to develop high standards, it’s not always easy for employees to meet those standards.
One of the biggest issues with accountability in the workplace is that it can be a negative approach. Many times companies will hold an employee accountable for not meeting goals without explaining why or providing feedback. This creates friction and anxiety between employees and causes them to perform below their potential. Accountability should always be done in a positive manner because it’s going to affect the company culture in a negative way if it isn’t.
How Can Accountability Become an Integral Part of Office Culture
1. Start With Yourself:
You have to be the first person to judge yourself, the first person to hold you accountable. Start by assuming that you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. If you want to build a culture of accountability in your company, act as if it’s already there. When things go wrong, don’t hide it by blaming others for not being accountable enough. Be the one to look for ways to provide guidance and feedback to your team.
2. Set Team goals:
When setting team goals, make sure that you set goals based on the results you want to see done. You don’t want to create a list of tasks that aren’t relevant to your team. The purpose of making team goals is not to create a list of things you need to do, but it’s important for your company as a whole. Try setting goals that are achievable yet challenging so that they can be used as future benchmarks.
3. Enhance your feedback skills:
Focus on the feedback that you provide to your team members. For example, if a person is doing something wrong, ask them why they are doing it that way. Ask them to outline their process so that you understand why they made the decision they did. Then use this information as a foundation to give feedback and guide them in the right direction. When understanding your team members better, you can provide real and constructive feedback instead of just pointing out mistakes.
Accountability is the key to shaping the self-motivated, hardworking culture that will drive a leader’s success. Accountability is not something that can be forced on people through punishment, but it can be made strong enough to be desired by everyone. You have to lead by example and hold yourself accountable first. It starts with you as a leader and your own accountability. If you’re trying to make a business more accountable, make sure you are also going through the process of accountability at work.