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7 ways to encourage accountability at workplace

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

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Accountability is a very critical aspect of anyone’s business model, no matter what industry it is. It is important that it is implemented and executed effectively in the workplace. Once it is engraved in your employee’s mind that they have to follow aspects of accountability as part of standard operating procedure, then they will also accept that it brings positivity, happiness, and trust in their work environment. And when you help them build a healthy atmosphere, the organisation experiences financial gains and also employee retention. Hence, it is absolutely critical for any organisation to practise accountability in the workplace.

For example, in a hotel business, various departments collectively run the hotel business every day. Each department works as a team and completes its targeted goals for the day separately, but all of the departments have one internal goal: to keep their internal employees, i.e., employees, happy, so that their staff can then look after the customers happy in the hotel. Hence, if they decide to empower their employees to tackle any situation, like a complaint from a guest at the hotel about the dirty room. The housekeeping or reception staff are empowered enough to provide the customer with the solution then and there. This will result in customer satisfaction. Instead of blaming each other in front of the customer, they were proactive enough to handle the situation. The client will then go and talk about the hotel to his circle of friends and will recommend it even more, because he had a pleasant stay. More customers mean more revenue for the hotel. Like this, the employees were responsible and proactive enough to take immediate action instead of blaming each other. Their goal, collectively, was to make the customer happy.

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Ways to encourage and practise accountability in the workplace

1. Reward

Reward is the most effective way to motivate any employee or team to carry out their responsibilities and understand what the organisation expects of them. They understand and control their behaviour in the workplace with other team members.

2. Counselling/training

Along with establishing standard operating procedures or a rule book, it is equally important that companies invest in their employees. With the help of professional counselling coaches or trainers, they can train them about accountability as well. They can guide them with their years of experience and help them understand how it impacts them.

3. Standard operating procedures/Rule Book

Set it right from the beginning of their employment. During each employee’s induction, make them understand what they are required to do at work, how to maintain healthy work relationships, how to be proactive in their job roles, and how to stand up for their mistakes. Make it clear from day one.

4. Feedback

As the individual settles into the office and learns about others, the manager must provide frequent and honest feedback to the individual. So that he can learn from his mistakes and understand how he can improve and be polite to everyone around him.

5. Set an example

As a manager or department head, you set a role model or example for them to look up to and see how they are expected to perform.

6. Encourage and practise empowerment

As you are managing your team, you lead them by example by letting them take their own decisions and letting them feel responsible for their job roles. If they fail, provide them with feedback on how and why they failed and how they can do things differently. This way, they will learn to be proactive. If you keep taking their decisions, they will never learn to feel empowered or even proactive.

7. Build a culture of trust

No two people can think alike, but as a team, they have learned to trust each other. So set an example and show them why trusting each other as team members is very important. As they begin to trust each other, they will begin to perform effectively.

8. Say no to blame

As a manager, it is important for you to understand the facts of the incident. Don’t encourage people to blame each other. Understand that problem and then let the person responsible for the mistake stand up for it. Let them know that you are approachable but not for complaints, but problems and solutions. And as a manager, you encourage people who can stand up for their mistakes instead of blaming their teammates.

Final Thoughts

Accountability: if it is planned properly, then it can be executed effectively. These can become the key values or core values of the company to keep their internal customers happy. As they are the ones who will be dealing with and taking care of actual customers, So, it is important for organisations to learn and install the aspects of accountability in their workplace and train their staff accordingly.