Five Ways to Create a Culture of Accountability in the Workplace by Violet Dhu

People are often not fully vested in their work because they don’t feel like they have any responsibility or accountability. They’re just trying to get by, not excel and certainly working within their limits. We see this culture of “getting by” in many businesses, with projects that are delegated but never properly completed. 

A culture of accountability creates a workplace that is innovative and energetic. When everyone is committed, they feel like they play an essential role. When mistakes happen, each team member looks at them as opportunities for growth instead of punishment. With a culture of accountability, everyone is on the same team working towards the same goals.

Creating a culture of accountability 

But how do you create a culture of accountability in the workplace? Here are some ways you can consider:

  1. Lead by example and hold yourself accountable first. 

There’s no better way to demonstrate accountability than by leading by example. So, hold yourself accountable first and show the rest of the team that you are responsible for your actions, whatever the results may be. 

  1. Set team goals.

These goals should be highly specific and if possible, each team member should have their own goals to meet. And the goals, where possible, should be interconnected or related, so that failure to achieve one of the goals will affect everyone else’s goals. This will motivate the team to work together, be accountable for their actions, and assist others in reaching their goals as needed. The reverse is to work alone or in silos.

  1. Make it safe to ask questions and clarify expectations early.

Asking questions and clarifying expectations boost employees’ confidence to speak up. Having other employees answer their questions and clarifications makes them feel they are being heard and an integral part of the team. This then makes them take responsibility and become more accountable. Conversely, if people are afraid to speak up or ask questions, this will negatively affect team performance and accountability will be reduced.

  1. Make accountability a habit.

Regardless of the project or the size of your team, practicing accountability daily will help make it feel normal in the workplace. If you show responsibility, other employees will follow. The more of the team who practice it, the more will follow until everyone builds each other up and creates a culture of accountability in the workplace.

  1. Keep track of your commitments and hold each other accountable.

When you keep track of your commitments, it keeps you motivated. In addition, they remind you of your responsibilities. A simple checklist can help you stay accountable. And you can also have an accountability partner or buddy, someone who can check in with you and remind you of your responsibilities as you will do for them. 

Having a culture of accountability in the workplace is a great way to direct an organisation towards success. When everyone feels accountable, everyone strives to do better while motivating each other. As a result, everyone is on the same page, the same team, and everyone wins. 

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