Cultivating a Culture of Accountability in the Workplace

Cultivating A Culture Of Accountability In The Workplace

Hands up, who likes to admit they were wrong? What, no takers?

It’s human nature to find accountability challenging, yet it’s essential to authentic leadership that brings out the best in team members. A study of 5,400 upper-level US managers found that 46% of them admitted they are poor at holding people accountable. But you have to wonder how good an example of accountability these leaders were setting themselves.

Effective leaders create a culture of accountability. They show that taking ownership of your work–and holding your hand up at times– is a good thing. Let’s see how they do it.

Set People Up to Succeed

If people don’t know what they’re aiming for, it’s unfair to expect them to hit the target. From the first day, your expectations of all team members need to be clear. That doesn’t mean sending an email and hoping for the best. It means talking to people one to one until you’re sure they’ve got it. Then, send a follow-up email to crystalize what you’ve just discussed. 

All too often, employees don’t know what their organization is trying to achieve or what their role is in helping them get there. It’s impossible to help people achieve their goals or hold them accountable when they don’t know what they are in the first place.

When everyone knows what they’re doing, your workplace will resonate with a sense of purpose. When the bigger picture is clearly understood, there will be a joint sense of purpose.

Monitor Progress

Micromanaging has become such a dirty word in recent times that it can lead to a fear of monitoring. Yet, servant leaders are not afraid to monitor, give constructive advice and direction, and share their own experiences. 

If you notice a team member is struggling to meet expected outcomes, give them some one-on-one coaching. This could involve peer support–shadowing or working alongside a more productive colleague. Or you may be able to break down the overall goal into smaller, more achievable targets that gain buy-in and foster an ongoing sense of accomplishment.

Have Courageous Conversations

Don’t hold back from having difficult conversations because you fear they’ll go badly. Instead, prepare for success by removing the personal element and focusing on objective feedback. Provide concrete examples of areas for improvement, but be willing to listen as well. 

When you don’t give feedback, people may question whether they’re truly accountable. Most people know when things are not going well. But if they also know their manager will keep quiet, they’ll be disincentivized from doing anything about it. By contrast, having regular, meaningful feedback sessions lets them know you’re aware, you care, and you want them–and the company–to succeed.

Build a Culture of Accountability With Aden Leadership

Accountability is about far more than admitting when we’ve made a mistake. It’s about the hunger and the drive we bring to the workplace every day. When your team sees these qualities in you, they’ll be motivated to follow suit. And at Aden Leadership, we’re here to help you unlock those traits within yourself and those you lead.

Group coaching is an effective starting point on the road to a culture of greater accountability. Click here to learn more and contact Greg to schedule your session.

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