Lead Your Team to Success by Promoting Personal Accountability

Accountability in the Workplace
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No matter the size of the company, whether it’s a startup or an international corporation, none will ever succeed without the hard work of its people. Then, why is it that more than half of the U.S. workforce is unsatisfied with what they do or is ready to run for the hills whenever the next opportunity arises? Turns out, we’re all to blame.

Many HR experts blame this turn of events solely on an organization’s inability to attract and keep the right talent. However, the root of the problem is not the failure of finding the “best man” for the job, it is more about employees not having clear accountabilities or opportunities to show their true potential.


What is accountability in the workplace?

By default, most people associate accountability with having to report to their superiors and “taking the bullet” when a project flops or brings a loss to the company. However, being accountable is not only about completing your tasks and reaching goals, it’s about being aware and responsible for every action you take and its repercussions, both externally and within the company.

What does accountability stand for?

Most recruitment processes are unsuccessful when leaders fail to promote a sense of ownership in their workforce, i.e. making employees feel fully responsible for their individual tasks and roles within the company. Sadly, a common scenario is when said leaders fail to practice accountability themselves while demanding it of their teams.

Leaders must be both accountable to their people and hold their people accountable. This is easier said than done, but you can develop a sense of true personal accountability by following these four mantras:

1. Focus on your goals and trust yourself.
2. Spring back to your feet if you hit a bump in the road.
3. Own your actions, good or bad, and grow from them.
4. Seize every opportunity to learn; turn today's mistakes into tomorrow’s success!

How do you set the example in your workplace?

Set up your team for success by being prepared and willing to guide them through this continuous learning process. You’re sure to see progress if you follow these tips:

• Keep an eye on your employees: You need to look after your team’s wellbeing but also keep track of their performance. Setting explicit expectations will make goals clearer and assessing performance easier. Track results as well as attendance so you can discover what works and what needs to improve.

• Be SMART about your objectives: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented and Time-bound (SMART) goals will trace a clear path your employees will appreciate when trying to follow your example. This way your team will know where to focus their attention to improve their own productivity.

• Keep feedback flowing: Regular and ongoing mentoring is necessary to assess the evolution of your projects. You can help your workers detect any roadblocks while raising awareness for ways to improve the performance management process.

• Set the example: It’s simple, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you demand and expect excellence from your employees, make sure you are the first to shine as a leader. Great leaders motivate their teams with only their presence because their actions speak louder than words.

Reward your MVPs: If someone is doing their best and it’s showing in their great performance, make sure you acknowledge and reward the effort. Incentive programs will motivate employees to reach their highest accountability and potential if they are compensated for going above and beyond the goals set out for them.

• Set the record straight: One of the main reasons productivity falters is due to a lack of organization in the workplace. Help your employees understand the priority of their tasks and responsibilities, otherwise, even the best of your team will struggle to live up to expectations.

Final thoughts

Make sure you become the leader your workforce needs you to be. Set the example by holding yourself accountable for your work and your employees will follow suit. Go over your steps and turn your losses into new ideas that will help you succeed. Those who stick together and work towards common SMART goals are more productive and efficient.

Grace Cattini
Content Editor & Copywriter