The most effective and highest-performing organizations are those where employees are empowered, in charge and feel a sense of ownership over their work.

Do you need one word to describe this culture? Accountable.

When your team feels and practices a high level of accountability, you have a team that wins. Always.

Sounds great? Not so easy though. Empowering your employees to achieve workplace accountability can be tricky. While managers agree to the need for accountability in the workplaces, it’s not all sunshine and roses.

At Infinity, we work with managers to define the problem and move the entire organization towards a culture of accountability, through games, simulations and lived experiences. Talk to us to find out more about Fuego.

How do companies improve accountability in the workplace and change the way employees collaborate and up their accountability levels consciously?

10 ways to Improve Accountability at Work

1. Responsibility vs accountability

These may sound like interchangeable terms but they are not synonymous at all. Responsibility is a reference to a list of tasks and a narrow set of results. Your team may be working diligently to cross off a list of tasks and yet may be far from accountable.

2. The Room and the Tools

Give people the room and tools to hold themselves accountable for the outcome. Understanding how to define results, see the big picture doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Give them the benefit of doubt and inspire them to move on the right track.

3. Feedback, often and constructive

As a leader, make sure that you give immediate feedback to your team. If you are seeing someone veer off the track, be sure to talk directly with the team member, regardless of the chain of command. Only feedback delivered directly will be helpful to you to understand that your team member has received and owns it.

4. Truth

There are enough studies to indicate that if the accountability definition process, results, feedback loops aren’t owned by people, they will try to find excuses. As a leader you need to help your team make this “their Truth”.

5. Skills Up!

Most people tend to avoid self-awareness like the plague so they don’t know how they are doing in a particular job function or area of work. The biggest part of improving performance is knowing what your skill gaps are, where you can improve, or where you excel. Help people define this better.

6. Hold up that Mirror

Accountability improves when people are happy with their work and have a positive feeling towards it. If they aren’t happy, hold up that mirror and help them realize what isn’t working for them. Often it is a deep seated denial that is at play.

7. Go to Bat

Accountability is one of the most important keys to a healthy team member/leader relationship. Helping your team understand that you have their back and will go to bat for them, helps team members want to perform at their best. Actively communicate that you are operating from a place of trust, want them to win and that you will back them up.

8. Draw out the connections

Oftentimes, team members don’t see the connection between their work and the impact it has on the people around them, their team or on the business they are a part of. Drawing out the connections and explaining the consequences on the team and the business immediately helps people see and feel that they need to contribute to the success.

9. Having that Vision

Accountability starts with a vision and ends with results. Pay far more attention to what someone says they will do as opposed to what they actually do. If people aren’t able to think beyond lists of things to do, they will not be able to define the results or outcomes they should be accountable for. Helping people broaden their vision or cultivate one when they don’t have it falls on you as a leader.

10. Make the Time

Accountability is a learned skill, helping your team become better at it will be an asset for both you and your organization. Find the time as a leader and make sure that everyone around you makes the time to evaluate their performance and results, i.e. accountability practice consistently.

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