As Bob Proctor put it, “accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result.” If you manage people, you are responsible for holding yourself accountable as well as creating a culture of accountability in your company. It is your job to weave it into every task and project your team is working on to get excellent results.
While accountability is a key to success, creating it for others is not an easy task, especially when managers are more interested in other things instead of the output their team is producing.
Let's take a look at what accountability is, why it should matter to you, and the tips and tricks you can try to increase it in your company.
What Is Accountability and Why Should It Matter to Your Company?
Accountability is when a person accepts responsibilities for their actions and decisions. When a person is accountable, they willingly recognize their role instead of pointing fingers to others and shifting their responsibilities for something onto someone else.
In business, accountability is most of the time manifested as specific functions and tasks our employer expects of us to perform. For managers and team leaders, it is responsibility for the work their team is doing. For a company, accountability means being responsible to employees and customers.
Accountability helps boost trust in your company, and it’s importance mostly relates to trust. A team full of people not accepting accountability for their doings can quickly lead to toxicity. However, when everyone answers for what they do, it helps other people feel confident that their teammates will support them in what they do.
4 Ways to Increase Accountability in the Workplace
1. Involve Your Employees When Setting Goals
You cannot expect your team to be held accountable for what they do not understand. As someone that leads a team or a company, make sure you involve your employees when setting goals they, either as part of a team or individually, have to follow.
If you involve them in the process instead of just handing them down their tasks, it will help boost their engagement and give them much necessary context to understand what is the ultimate purpose of the work they do. This will help them grasp where their piece fits in the overall puzzle of your company.
Also, you need to ensure that the expectations you have for your employees are crystal clear. It will be much easier for your employees to accept their responsibility if they know exactly what they need to achieve.
2. Provide Your Employees With Feedback
It is up to you as the leader of your team to help your teammates understand if what they are doing is good and what they could be doing better. The best way to do this is through feedback conversations.
Make sure you schedule regular one-on-ones with your teammates and discuss their progress, goals, and answer any questions or concerns they might have. Consider an employee reporting software to help you with figuring out what your employees are doing and how long it takes them to do something.
With employee reporting software, both you and your employees will easily be able to keep track of progress on certain tasks and projects. Additionally, employee reporting software can be useful when setting goals for your employees because it provides you with data you can use to set more realistic benchmarks your employees will be able to follow.
3. Make Any Necessary Resources Available
For a team to be accountable, it needs to be supported. If your team has all the tools, software and knowledge at their disposal to do their job, it will be easier for them to accept responsibility for their work.
If your team does not have all they need, you are significantly reducing their chances of being accountable for what they do. So, sit down with everyone to make sure they have everything they need. Also consider investing into additional training, maybe even some online courses to help your team with their performance.
4. Have Different Responses and Consequences to Different Outcomes
If you want to hold your team accountable, you need to have multiple ways to handle different consequences.
For example, if one of your employees fails to deliver on a task due to you not providing clear instructions, hold yourself accountable, and give the employee a second chance to provide themselves. This time, make sure they get the right resources and coaching to do the task right.
If one of your employees does a stellar job, recognize their excellent performance, and reward them – whether that's public recognition, a bonus on their next paycheck, or something else specific to your context.
Wrapping Things Up
Without being accountable, your employees have no reason to comply with the expectations of your company. Creating accountability is not an easy task, but I hope that our tips have managed to help set you in the right direction of creating an accountable and more successful company.
Remember that accountable companies are successful companies and that for employees to be accountable, you need to involve them in the goal-setting process, provide them with any necessary tools and apps, like employee tracking software, to do their job, constantly provide them with feedback and appropriate responses to different situations and outcomes - recognize everyone’s mistakes and give rewards when they are deserved.