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Maintaining Accountability at Work

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

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Are transparency and accountability the same or different
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Are productivity issues, punctuality lapses, and a lack of accountability plaguing your team’s performance?

If you’ve witnessed such challenges in your workplace, you’re not alone. A staggering 93% of employees struggle with work alignment and accountability.

Neglecting accountability can have detrimental effects on your organization. However, there’s no need to worry. By implementing a few key guidelines and rules, you can transform your company culture.

Defining Accountability

Before we delve into the steps to enhance workplace accountability, it’s crucial to understand the concept. Accountability is distinct from responsibility. While these terms are often used interchangeably, accountability is an individual trait, willingly accepted, whereas responsibility is typically imposed by superiors or peers. In essence, accountability involves taking ownership of one’s actions, behaviors, and shortcomings, avoiding the ‘passing the buck’ mentality.

Steps to Maintain Accountability at Work:

Creating an accountable work environment is a transformative process to maintain accountability at work. Here are the steps to guide you on this journey.

1. Lead by Example

When you interact with your employees, they scrutinize your actions closely. If you merely issue orders without practicing what you preach, earning your team’s respect becomes challenging. To address this, start by embodying the principles you advocate. If you schedule a 10 AM meeting, arrive at least 10 minutes early. Demonstrating consistency in following guidelines and admitting your own mistakes sets a credible example.

2. Define Clear Goals and Expectations

Ambiguity in objectives can hinder accountability. Avoid vague goals like ‘we need more clients by month-end’ and, instead, provide specifics. Define measurable monthly goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Assign explicit responsibilities to team members to eliminate blame-shifting.

3. Cultivate Trust

Trust is a cornerstone of workplace accountability. Employees should feel comfortable discussing challenges and issues openly. If trust is lacking, it’s time to change that. Openly acknowledge your mistakes and discuss what went wrong in your plans. Creating a safe, open environment where questions and concerns are welcomed fosters trust.

4. Provide Actionable Feedback

Regular, actionable feedback is essential for employee growth. Offer feedback that guides improvement, such as:

  • Explain how their actions contribute (or don’t) to monthly goals.
  • Discuss strengths and weaknesses with examples from their work.
  • Offer practical tips to address specific challenges.
  • Encourage questions and provide answers to the best of your ability.


An ideal workplace culture involves team members working collaboratively to achieve shared goals while taking responsibility for their actions. This environment minimizes office politics and enhances cross-departmental communication. If accountability remains a concern in your workplace, consider reaching out to accountability coach Darren Finkelstein. As an internationally acclaimed accountability coach and business advisor, he can help steer your organization in the right direction.

For more information, book a complimentary 15-MINUTE ACCOUNTABILITY ASSESSMENT with The Accountability Guy® and find out just how accountable you really are…

During this fast-paced, speed-coaching session, we’ll…
  1. Identify the ONE thing throttling your capacity to Get Sh!t Done
  2. Figure out what you must do first to throw that monkey off your back
  3. Plan what you must do next in order to get what you want

In today’s competitive market, enhancing your company’s overall development can be a game-changing move.