Major parts of our workplaces are getting negatively impacted due to lack of accountability. People deny taking ownership because it indicates someone is responsible for any negative results that occur. Responsibility at work, if overlooked, can cause detrimental results.
Employees begin to develop habits of success by seeing and replicating their leaders. It is a given fact that we learn from our leaders and want to achieve what they have. After all, their habits are surely better than ours and that’s why they stand out. Is accountability one of those habits of leaders? Should we be learning this as well? The answer is – Yes!
But what happens when employees fail to adopt accountability?
Effects of no accountability
Lack of accountability encourages many employees to keep up their lethargic and demeaning behavior at work. This, in return, is extremely dangerous for a healthy workplace as others see us running away from our responsibilities and they unknowingly pick up these wrong habits. Ever heard ‘One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel?‘ that’s what happens when one of us become sluggish at work.
Accountability is a responsibility, which many employees turn against as they deny being held accountable. Employees run away from it so that they don’t get blamed if anything goes wrong. Well, no one likes to be blamed.
Now, how do we fix this? Well, many organizations have already overcome this but the question again is: HOW?
How do successful organizations keep employees accountable?
1. Strong Beginnings
From the very beginning, when hiring managers recruit employees, they inform them how serious they take accountability and how it can affect an employee’s performance. In many cases, sure, they inform them verbally but having a standard document on accountability may have more of an impact.
Communication is a crucial factor when it comes to accountability among employees. For instance, a manager assigns a task to one of his team members and tells him to keep the manager posted as the task progresses. But the employee forgets to keep the manager in the loop and later indicates that he verbally shared the update. Well, there isn’t any evidence or documentation for that matter now. So, in such cases, it is imperative that we document such conversations through emails for us to refer to it later. But don’t micromanage. Draw the line!
It is a great practice to reward your employees every time they take matters into their own hands and bring success to your organization. Rewarding your employees with words of praise for taking ownership and holding accountability of tasks will encourage other employees as well. Many organizations hold award ceremonies whereas some simply award ‘Employee of the Month‘ to one of the employees each month. All these are ways to increase the morale of the employees for them to perform and give their best.
4. Harsh Talk
If and whenever an employee is running away from his/her responsibility and denies staying accountable, the manager should have that hard talk with him. That’s right! Remember how fast things can change if we just talk things out. You don’t need to be harsh, but it’s important to identify that employee’s problem and find out what he lacks in taking ownership.
Although employees may get distracted from time to time, we can still get them on track if we comply with these tips. These ways would certainly help you bring that culture of accountability, where everybody takes ownership and creates a workplace to be proud of.