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6 Pitfalls of Lack of Accountability In The Workplace

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

Home » Accountability » 6 Pitfalls of Lack of Accountability In The Workplace
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Accountability means you take ownership of your actions. It means you bear both the consequences and rewards that your work provides.

Moreover, accountability means that you build an atmosphere of trust, exceptional performance, and engagement. You build a rapport and maximize productivity.

You might wonder what the lack of accountability can do, isn’t it? This blog will take you through the six pitfalls of lack of accountability in the workplace.

Besides, you will understand how the lack of accountability will destabilize an organization and wreak havoc on the company.

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Accountability In The Workplace

Imagine working on an important project that requires you to reach a necessary sales target. To reach the sales target, you need consistent high performance and communication. Moreover, you need to take responsibility for your actions. Furthermore, if you cannot reach the target, you should analyze your actions and take ownership of the results.

Accountability in the workplace is taking charge and accepting the consequences and rewards for a project, deliverable, or process without playing the blame game. Accountability is what makes the team grow and reduces poor outcomes.

Essentially, accountability in the workplace means setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals and working towards achieving them.

Six Pitfalls Of Lack Of Accountability

Now you know what accountability in the workplace means. It is essentially working towards a common goal and understanding that each individual depends on the other’s work for the organization’s success.

Let’s explore what the lack of accountability can do to an organization.

Lowers Morale

Lack of accountability will lower the morale of people as it creates disengagement. Moreover, it fosters a toxic workplace as no one knows who is responsible for what. Everyone denies responsibility for results, and a blame game ensues, creating negativity.

Automatically, this lowers morale. Furthermore, there are no clear instructions, and no one cares about what one is doing in the organization. So, there is no enthusiasm and low morale, and productivity ensues.

Decreases Efficiency And Productivity

When your organization lacks accountability, efficiency and productivity drop drastically, people won’t adhere to deadlines, and it will cause issues with project timelines. Automatically, this will lead to late deliverables, less work, low productivity, and low profits.

Moreover, a lack of accountability makes people want to check out without putting in their full efforts. This is because their actions are not checked, nor are they evaluated.

Furthermore, there is no set demarcation of roles, and proper training is absent. When a lack of communication and clarity occurs, efficiency and productivity drop drastically.

Poor Quality Work

In an organization where accountability is not established, work quality will suffer. This is because when there is a lack of accountability, everyone’s work goes unchecked, and mistakes are missed out.

Business relationships with clients, vendors, and suppliers will deteriorate with the lack of accountability. Poor quality work is possible, just the start of various business problems that stem from the lack of accountability.

Reduced Employee Engagement

When there is accountability, the employee engagement rate reduces. With no accountability assigned to a leader, there won’t be any motivation to evaluate and provide feedback. This means employees don’t know the direction they are moving in, and they don’t feel invested enough.

Moreover, without accountability, the teams feel disconnected, and there is no sense of purpose that motivates people to engage with each other.


High turnover rate

Lack of accountability means there is no stability in the organization. Everyone simply blames the other, creating a vicious cycle of toxicity. Moreover, no company or personal goals are met, and low accomplishment levels are.

When this happens, employees want to look for opportunities that offer them stability and higher engagement, which is why the turnover rate increases drastically.

Unclear responsibilities

When there is a lack of accountability, the responsibilities are unclear. People don’t know what to do, and no clear goals are communicated. Alternatively, the lack of communication makes it unclear as to who is trained and has the skills putting the wrong people in roles of responsibility.

As such, the lack of accountability creates a vicious circle of not wanting to accept responsibility because of the assumption that mistakes mean a loss of a job. 


Personal initiative and accountability are critical to the success of a workplace. Only when top management and employees are held accountable for their work to colleagues and stakeholders will the company prosper.

Merely being a hard worker and completing tasks is not enough; you also need to take ownership of your results irrespective of the consequences. Moreover, there won’t be clear responsibilities without accountability in the organization, low morale will persist, employee engagement will decrease, and quality standards will drop.

Suppose you struggle with identifying the pitfalls of accountability and resolving the issues. You need to get in touch with TickThoseBoxes now. They have excellent coaches and resources to help you establish and sustain accountability in the workplace.