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How to improve employee accountability at the workplace

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

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We have all learned about accountability, and we have also learned about how important it is for the managers to step up and understand the crucial nature of involving this concept in their daily lives at work. But the question arises when we ask them to introduce this concept to their staff or team members.

Well, it’s easier said than done, but that’s what we will always expect from our leadership. Leaders cannot force employees to be held responsible for their actions, behaviors, and decisions. So how do they bring clarity to work or even create a positive atmosphere at the workplace? What does promoting accountability look like in practice? It’s hard to see it in action, right?

We believe that if you have started practising accountability at work, it means that you have created an environment with clear communication, defined individual’s accountabilities, set clear and measurable goals, managers frequently communicate with their employees, monitor progress and give feedback often, and you have given ample opportunities to employees to improve and let them perform better.

Overall, the impact we will see is that they will produce more profitable results for the organization. We will not be seeing demotivated employees, as the most caring employees will be more motivated and committed to working together.

Till now, we have understood that accountability means clear communications, actions, being responsible, owning up to the failures, and importantly, giving more room for improvements in the future. When we talk about the importance of accountability at the workplace, it’s clear that we are trying to enforce a good and improved quality of work produced by the employees. building strong relationships amongst the team members. decreasing factors like failures, incomplete projects, lack of teamwork, lack of commitment, and missing deadlines, but enforcing more and more motivation and commitment to achieve goals.

Now, how do we promote accountability in employees as managers or leaders? Let’s learn about that.

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How to improve employee accountability?

1. Define your expectations

As managers, communicate clearly and make them understand what the employees are accountable for. Define the expectations for them, whether they are long-term or short-term goals. Make sure they understand how they will be monitored regularly and what culture they are expected to create at the workplace.

2. Goals

At the end, we are all working based on the goals that have been set, either by the managers or ourselves, but these goals should be time able and measurable. Managers should be able to set both individual and team smart goals at the same time. so that the employees are clear on what they are required to perform. All the goals must be communicated very clearly to the employees.

3. Monitor progress

Communications between the managers and employees must be very crisp and clear. Managers should monitor the progress, give feedback timely, conduct employee surveys, get project updates, discuss the key points, and have meetings from time to time to understand the problems that they might be facing. Managers should be able to discuss their feedback based on the data that is being discussed about their performance and how they can improve.

4. Align development, learning, and growth

Managers should be able to develop a plan for their employees to make sure that they improve and are able to grow in their roles. They should be able to clearly discuss the ongoing development path with their employees. They must be able to provide opportunities for employees to improve and perform better.

5. Create an environment of trust

Managers should be able to make their employees understand why the trust factor is important when it comes to working together. Once they create trust amongst the team members, they will be able to perform peacefully and will be able to produce better results. They will be able to learn from each other, and they will be respectful toward each other.

6. Recognize and celebrate progress:

Rewarding in any form is crucial when you see any of your employees performing to the standards that you expected them to. So, if you see that your employees are doing better than expected, it is crucial for you as a manager to recognize, reward, and celebrate the progress. Let all of them know that they are valued at the workplace.


“Responsibility” or “being held accountable” sounds very heavy and is often perceived negatively by the employees. It’s a tricky business for managers and leaders to introduce and make their employees understand the importance of accountability.

If we talk about the down approach, then the employees will not take it seriously. In fact, managers themselves will not be able to set good examples in front of their employees. So, the most important factor is for the managers to keep their communications very clear and keep communicating with them as often as possible, giving them feedback as often as possible.

Sit down with them and try to understand the issues that they might be facing on the project. Make sure they understand what is exactly expected of them and how they can improve. Most cared-for and nurtured employees are the most loyal, committed, and motivated employees, and they will always perform at their best in the workplace.