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Home » Accountability » Lack of accountability in the workplace is expensive, Fix it!

Lack of accountability in the workplace is expensive, Fix it!

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®


In our past discussions, we shared knowledge about the importance of accountability, which is the right path to success. We have discussed how an accountable individual becomes self-disciplined, empowered, well-respected, and a good team member. Accountability creates transparency within the office environment. Team members learn to trust each other; employee retention improves as employees feel valued. So, now what happens when there is a lack of accountability? What if the leadership management doesn’t know what is accountability and understands its need?

To begin with, a lack of accountability is a waste of time and talent, a lack of transparency, and probably no empowerment. If the leadership is not accountable for the decisions and actions, how will they preach the same to their employees? So, let us look at how it can be expensive if there is a lack of accountability in the workplace.

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Lack of accountability can lead

1. Waste of time: As mentioned above, a lack of accountability will waste time. Most of the managers will be busy solving petty issues. The employees will run into ego issues and will learn to blame each other for mistakes they have made. Individuals will not know to be proactive; instead, they will remain reactive to face the situations.

2. Lack of ownership: Accountability teaches taking ownership of your success and failures. So, if you don’t learn about accountability, the employees will not learn to take ownership of their mistakes. Hence, they will not learn to learn from their mistakes, which would lead to more failures and result in further losses.

3. There will be more I’s as compared to Us: By this, we mean that there will be a lack of teamwork, as the employees will not learn to respect each other, and they will not learn to cooperate with each other. So, overall team’s performance will suffer. No one will support another in the group.

4. Lack of leadership: As the managers or senior management will not understand accountability, no one will stand for their team’s mistakes. The teams will suffer even more as the management will not be able to teach them the critical lessons of accountability.

5. No feedback or improvement after feedback: The employees will not understand the importance of good or bad feedback. They will not learn to accept it effectively; therefore, they will not show much improvement as they might not even take it seriously.

6. Lack of understanding of overall performance: As the employees and management are not accountable, they will not focus on the overall organization’s progress and revenue generation. So, here it will affect the return on investments directly!

7. Lack of employee retention: As employees will run into issues regularly and management will not be capable enough to teach them the right way to handle it, they will not be satisfied to stay. The growth will be stagnant, and employees will start looking for better opportunities, and hence they will start leaving.

8. Lack of transparency: As the clarity follows the top-to-bottom approach, the information traveled across will not be the same, and the employees might not be able to understand the importance of the shared data. Or they might not get to know about the vital information, which would lead to further confusion at work.

9. No explicit communication: One of the essential parts of any organization is to create communication methods, which would be affected if there is a lack of accountability. The managers would fail to explain the procedures. The employees would fail at their communication end. Overall, the understanding between the team members would suffer.

10. Lack of respect: The employees would often encounter disputes, so there will be a lack of respect amongst each other or towards their managers.


Lack of accountability can affect the company’s Return-on-investments, employee engagement and retention, employee dedication to work, employee’s respect for each other, and most importantly, their ownership will be lacking. When ownership is lacking, employees will not learn from their mistakes, which would further lead to more failures and impact company performance. The employees will not be satisfied; therefore, they would like to switch jobs as frequently as possible. This less employee retention would lead to even more waste of time, effort, and talent, as they will be looking for a replacement. The new search will cost more, and the salaries will have to be adjusted again. The leadership will suffer as they cannot support and help their teams and will not share accurate information with the employees. As a result, supervision will not be able to perform up to the required standards, and the company’s revenue will suffer even more.

At any organization, people are always aiming for success and more revenues, but if there is a lack of accountability amongst the leadership and employees, then there will be more losses compared to sales.