Wake Up! You’re Accountable!
Does your organizational culture encourage responsibility for decisions, actions, and transparency?
By David Cox, SHRM-SCP | August 28, 2018
One of the more common characteristics of successful organizations seems to be their commitment to accountability in the workplace. This commitment gives owners and management the best possible opportunity to set standards for behaviors and practices throughout the organization.
Such standards support the individual employee’s sense of purpose and help maintain focus on the overall goals and objectives of the organization. The good news is that you can promote a culture of accountability in your workplace and the success that follows can be a vital part of your organization’s story.
Roles and Expectations
The first step to accountability in the workplace is for each employee’s job description to define their essential functions, duties, responsibilities, and standards clearly to those whom he/she is accountable. If your employees still don’t have job descriptions, no more excuses – it’s time to get this done!
Each job description should include expected outcomes, which lets employees know what their immediate supervisors expect of them as well as the potential consequences for poor performance. Creating this understanding for each employee can help improve personal accountability and workplace behavior which can further result in more favorable outcomes throughout the organization.
Training and Development
Once each employee understands the roles and expectations of his/her position, it’s essential to ensure that everyone has the knowledge, tools, and resources necessary for success. Most employers readily acknowledge the need for adequate materials and equipment, but they need to explicitly call for further training in essential occupational skills and development in general employment skills.
Training and development opportunities are not only crucial to the success of the organization; such initiatives reduce the number of mistakes and facilitate more positive outcomes. They also motivate employees to contribute beyond what the company requires, including support for accountability in the workplace.
Evaluation is the key
Whether at the team or individual levels, there is a need to both formally and informally evaluate needs, roles, actions, and mistakes. Employers should endeavor to develop appropriate reporting structures in their efforts to assess their initiatives in the best interests of the organization’s mission and its stakeholders. This approach can lead to higher personal and team accountability that will inevitably result in more effective employee self-management.
360 Degree Accountability
Employers should strive to meet the same standards they expect of their employees. Their adherence to these standards should be transparently evident to their employees and the organization at large. Furthermore, employers should promote timely discussions in regularly scheduled meetings to address problems, issues, and mistakes in an appropriate, forthright manner.
Accountability in the workplace is essential to the greater effectiveness and efficiencies that promote successful organizational outcomes. Employers and employees alike should understand their duties, functions, roles, responsibilities, and they should know to whom they are accountable so that everyone can work together toward the common goals of the organization.
In an accountable work environment, employers and employees will be more likely to draw on the better practices they’ve established to address mistakes and inefficiencies. A culture of accountability in your workplace can boost morale, productivity, and efficiencies in the best interest of all who have a vested interest in the organization’s success.