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Why Is Accountability Important in the Workplace?

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

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Everyone wishes for a supportive and positive work environment where the team flourishes. However, it is impossible to attain without accountability.

You might be thinking, why?

Simply put, things don’t get done when no one takes ownership of their actions, addresses problems, and comes up with solutions. Accountability is when people take responsibility for their decisions or work. It is also about accepting your mistake and working towards rectifying it.

However, it is not as easy as it seems at the forefront.

In this article, we will map out what accountability is in the workplace, discuss its importance, and give tips that help in its achievement.

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Accountability in the Workplace

Workplace accountability occurs when all organization employees take responsibility for their actions, performances, and decisions. Each individual must realize that other team members and overall project performance depend upon their work.

However, it is not limited to making and fulfilling commitments – it’s also about ensuring transparency and sharing critical details with your teammates. If there is any setback in work or if you find something wrong, you need to come forward with the information in front of the whole team.

Importance of Accountability in the Workplace

Your organization’s approach to accountability can impact your business’s successful functioning. Here are a few benefits of it in your workplace.

  • Improved Performance

Want to boost productivity and increase efficiency? Accountability is what you need to focus on!

When employees know who is responsible for what task, it eliminates confusion and time wasted on deciding who will do what and how. At the same time, individuals who feel accountable for their actions will more likely perform their tasks well and effectively. Plus, it will make them believe that you trust in their ability, and they will further feel motivated.

  • Strengthens Work Culture

According to Forbes, lack of accountability usually has a snowball effect throughout the team. When you embed accountability into your organization’s roots, you make it everyone’s responsibility by “establishing relevant goals and team buy-in, building trust through encouragement and support, empowering every person on the team and celebrating success together.”

  • Strong adherence to compliance

Accountability is vital in showing compliance with laws, regulations, and guidelines. People who understand the consequences of their actions if they fail to adhere to specific guidelines are more likely to follow them. If every individual feels the weight of these standards, the whole organization will work together to meet them.

Plus, when everyone is held responsible for their actions, it creates a safer working environment as no one would have to deal with a colleague’s inappropriate actions or behavior.

So, by improving accountability, you are reducing the risks of facing lawsuits or fines for non-compliance.

  • Boost Work Relationships

Another benefit of ensuring accountability in the workplace is giving rise to productive and healthy relationships among co-workers. Those responsible for their work will more likely understand their fellow and treat them respectfully and kindly.

For example, a task is divided into specific ordered steps, so every member would try to complete their work on time to ensure that others don’t face any setbacks.

Tips for Creating Accountability in the Workplace

Now that you know the importance of accountability, it’s time to create one in your workplace. Here’s how you can do so:

  • Set Clear Expectations

Clarity around “project expectations” is a crucial way to enhance accountability in the workplace. If individuals have a clear idea of their tasks and objectives, this will help them take responsibility for their actions and strive to meet those expectations. Once everyone completes what they are supposed to do, no one would blame anyone else and mess up the project’s success.

  • Exchange Feedback

Feedback is essential to help employees examine their actions and make better decisions to move further. With positive feedback, employees will feel confident and work more dedicatedly. At the same time, negative feedback will help them identify their wrong choices and help them improve for the future.

  • Use Work Tracking Tools

Specific digital tools that are designed to track work either in terms of time or project progress can be helpful for accountability. It can be easier for some people to feel accountable when they can clearly see what they have to do and the time they have to complete it. Sometimes, these tools help to keep employees in check and ensure everyone is working towards the goals.

  • Create a Safe Working Environment

Trust and support are foundational to building accountability at your workplace. An organization that helps individuals correct their mistakes may create a safe environment where they take responsibility for their actions. They will feel comfortable opening up, sharing new ideas, and taking responsibility if something goes wrong.

The Bottom Line

All in all, accountability in the workplace will not only boost productivity and work culture but will also give your team the sense of ownership and autonomy they need to succeed.

Though it is overwhelming to develop company-wide accountability, the above-given tips will surely help you. It will create a working environment where everyone is responsible for their actions to minimize mistakes and maximize revenues.

After all, a company where everyone works dedicatedly towards their goals without pulling each other down will definitely pull the profit around!