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Paving The Road To Accountability In The Workspace In 3 Easy Steps

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

Home » Accountability » Paving The Road To Accountability In The Workspace In 3 Easy Steps
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The word “accountability” is a freighted one used amid a cultural revolution. Therefore what does the phrase “holding myself accountable” mean these days? How does accountability fit into the workplace? Does it have an impact on the employees and how they collaborate with others?

In this article, you will read and find out about what accountability means in the workplace and what are the three ways to help pave the road towards it.

But first, let us address the basics of accountability. 

Table of Contents

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What Does The Term “Accountability” Mean In The Workplace?

In simple words, accountability is the act of taking responsibility. However, in the workplace, it can be categorized into two major divisions:

Day-To-Day Tasks

By this, we mean holding yourself accountable for all your daily projects and taking responsibility for your work. These individuals are very particular about meeting their goals and deadlines. Therefore, they frequently communicate with the rest of their teammates to check the status of their work.

They take responsibility for all their successes and failures as well.

Everyday Conflict

When you are dealing with conflict at the workplace, it can be a little more challenging to take accountability.

When you hold yourself accountable during a conflict, you should also know to give a real, genuine apology.

Why Is It Vital To Incorporate Accountability At The Workplace?

The main reason to incorporate accountability into the workplace is to enhance the productivity rate of the employees. Moreover, accountability is also a vital key needed to build a strong, healthy relationship between other employees.

If the employees are not held accountable for their actions, this is when the organization starts to fail and slip right through the cracks.

Therefore, if you notice employees who are always being let off the hook for mediocre work, missing deadlines, etc., you must make sure to voice out the behavior and state that the behavior is unacceptable.

Additionally, the organization as a whole starts to erode when employees or managers are not held accountable for miscommunication, conflicts, and so on. However, when accountability is imposed on the workplace, more and more employees will start carrying their own weight instead of burdening it on others. It also creates an equal working environment for all the employees.

Now that you have an idea of what accountability is and how important it is in the workplace let us delve deeper and venture into three ways used to pave the road to creating accountability.

3 Important Ways To Help Pave The Road For Accountability In The Workplace

When people hear the word “accountability,” they often associate it with being “caught.” However, accountability is not a negative thing. It is the responsibility of the leader to break the misconception of accountability.

You can effectively pave the way towards a more accountable organization without a negative mindset by following the three steps.

Step #1: Build An Environment Around Trust

Before we discuss the value of trust, let’s discuss how people are motivated. There are two primary types of motivation: extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation is where an employee gets extremely motivated by certain factors beyond their enjoyment. For instance, an employee can start to feel the pressure of completing a certain task fearing for their job.  

On the other hand, intrinsic motivation is where the employee gets motivated by the own beliefs to reach a certain goal. For instance, an employee who works late to try and complete a task because they believe the completion of the task is vital to both the employee and the organization.

In order to build a safe work environment centered on trust, you will need to find the balance between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Step #2: Establish The Right Goals And Follow Them Through

Accountability can be included in a workspace only when the employees begin to understand and accept their roles. By setting defined goals, they will be able to determine whether they are truly in for the hustle.

And the best way to set these goals is by having clear, open communication. At the start of every year, carefully plan out the goals of the company and how your organization will work to achieve them.

Additionally, employees also need to have individual, personal goals to know what they are accountable for. This is why it is important for all employees to have a defined set of metrics to see whether or not they are delivering high-quality work.

Another thing that leaders need to focus on is to give regular feedback. The best way to do this is by having weekly meetings with the employees to discuss their progress within the company.

Step #3: Inform The Employees On How To Make Genuine Apologies

In the workplace, being accountable for your actions also means making genuine apologies when needed. This is a very important aspect, especially because many conflicts and quarrels occur at work.

Many employees make an apology devoid of meaning, which does not solve the issue. However, making a genuine, sincere apology can help create unity within the company.

As a leader, one of your responsibilities will be to teach the employees how to make a genuine apology and why it is very important inside an organization.

A good apology will own the results and consequences while avoiding all excuses. This will show people that this employee has adopted the practice of accountability.

Additionally, when you are making an apology, make sure to carefully listen and understand what the other person is saying. Based on this, you can prepare your next thought.

Wrapping Up

Creating a healthy work culture that includes accountability is not an easy task. However, with time, you will see that it affects various aspects of the company, including operational efficiency, employee satisfaction, etc., and overall boosts the performance rate of your company.

If you have not already started to inculcate accountability into your workspace, it is high time you dismantle all the negative meanings that are related to it. Instead, use these three steps to pave the way in creating an empowering, positive approach.

It’s time to dismantle the negative connotations associated with accountability. Start taking a positive, empowering approach rather than a negative, punitive one. And keep in mind that it all begins with you.