Accountability in the Workplace:
Many workplace problems can be overcome by increasing accountability. The word accountability is synonymous with blame. However, it shouldn’t be equated to fault. Accountability should be considered a useful tool that helps the workplace become better. Here are five ways to inspire accountability to improve support and improve results.
Employee initiative is a sign of an accountable culture. Employees who take initiative are the employees who think ahead, anticipate change, and handle problems before they get out of control. Employee initiative also equals ownership. These employees will own their responsibilities, success, and mistakes. They also seek feedback because they understand accountability is about improvement and not punishment. Accountability and initiative should be taught, expected, and rewarded.
Increasing resources also helps accountability. A lack of resources can be a barrier to performance, productivity, customer service, talent attraction, and retention. By giving employees the necessary resources, they can do their jobs effectively. When employees feel they can do their jobs correctly, they take more pride and accountability in their work.
Developing front-line leaders is another important step. Sometimes new leaders struggle with identity which leads them to making ineffective decisions or feeling like their decisions are not supported. New leaders will sometimes hide their challenges because they fear looking incompetent. Incompetency leads to a lack of accountability. Providing a strong orientation period for new leaders gives them the confidence and competency needed to excel. The systems and processes that promote accountability must work for the leaders instead of the leaders finding ways to work around the system.
Accountability doesn’t have to be a dirty word. It should be considered a useful tool that can help all employees improve their performance. When accountability is reimagined, initiative is rewarded, resources are increased, and leaders are properly developed, accountability in the workplace flourishes.
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