The last 18 months have taught us more than we could ever have possibly imagined.…
Self-accountability – taking responsibility for your own actions.
It is only human to distrust that others will get the job done as well as you, so you take on too much have way too much on your plate, which often leads to late nights at your desk.
Resentment begins to build up in your team, as you’re on the verge of burnout, and they’re tired of having no autonomy.
Workplace happiness, performance and productivity starts to take an all-round plumet. You may have become your own worst nightmare, a micromanager. Sound familiar? According to a recent survey, one-in-five employees don’t think they have enough freedom to decide how they do their work, so you aren’t alone.
The workplace looks a lot different than it did a year or so ago. Many businesses have had to navigate change and adapt to different work patterns and methods. Working from home has become the new norm and managers have had to rely a lot more on employee accountability. It’s time to empower your staff, hold them accountable and give them a purpose. You’ll likely be amazed at what they come up with.
Why is accountability so important?
To be accountable means a requirement or expectation to justify actions or decisions; to be responsible. Employee accountability means meeting deadlines, hitting targets and in essence, getting the job done. An accountable employee will take responsibility, even when they make mistakes, they will manage their workload and request help when necessary.
From a wider perspective, when teams have a culture of accountability, they collaborate effectively to hit business targets by aligning their workflow. On the flip side, failure is taken as a group, rather than put onto an individual. Employees in an accountable workforce will be driven and high performing.
The importance of accountability lies in the trust you’re given to perform. If someone truly trusts you to find a solution, or hit a target, you won’t want to let them down. It’s a powerful motivator because you’re committed to get things done well and on time. You are being held responsible for the outcome, so you’re motivated to have your name in shining lights.
The biggest challenge with accountability
With the above in mind, there is a fine line between being held responsible and creating a finger pointing, blame culture. This is the hardest part about creating an accountable team. It’s about delivering on a commitment, and when that commitment hasn’t been delivered, stepping forward, owning it, and learning from your mistakes, whether you’re the person who failed to make the commitment, or the one who has been let down.
How to build accountability in the workplace
1. Meet with employees individually, to clearly outline roles and responsibilities. This is made easier with software such as GoalShaper where you can track tasks, behaviours and output. Once an employee knows what’s expected of them, they can go off and initiate projects in their own way, knowing what the final outcome should be. It’s the output that matters, not how they get there.
2. Following the above point, you can then clearly define and set goals together, so that everyone is on the same page and has something to work towards. Doing this together helps foster a sense of collective purpose, which will massively increase motivation. Goal setting can also be done within a software such as GoalShaper; having everything in one place makes it easier to revisit and create a habit out of checking.
3. Have regular and effective 1-1s to monitor progress, check in with morale and give feedback on tasks and performance. If you see productivity dropping, speak openly about it and ask questions to probe conversation. The better you understand your team’s engagement and pain points, the better you can spot where clarity or accountability is lacking
Workplace accountability is a two-way street and requires input from both managers and their employees. When done effectively, it will no doubt come hand in hand with high performance and great team morale. Support your team to reach this state by setting up a clear destination for success and providing the tools they can use to guide them along the way.