As a leader, holding yourself accountable, as well as holding the whole team accountable, is extremely important to your bottom line. It takes courage to hold staff members accountable for their good work behavior or their lack thereof, and not every leader can do it. Here are some tips for being a leader in this area and encourage workplace accountability.
Make Expectations Clear
Workplace accountability is defined as fulfilling workplace responsibilities. That includes taking care of your daily tasks and doing so in a timely fashion with attention to deadlines. In short, it means completing your job and not cutting corners, thus shortchanging both your customers and your business as a whole. It requires precisely articulated expectations from supervisors; there is no room for ambiguity. Employees shouldn’t be blamed for not meeting workplace standards if they are not clearly articulated; expectations must be clearly defined. Without direction and guidance, employees will do what they think is best, which might not always align with your expectations. When giving direction, also ask for feedback. This allows you to address any misunderstandings, so you can hold them accountable for the work at the end of the day.
Provide Resources and Training
In order to emphasize accountability, you need to provide the proper resources, tools, and training. If you give an employee a task, but don’t give them the proper training or resources to complete the task, you can’t exactly hold them accountable for completing the task properly. Again, make sure feedback and communication is part of the conversation. If the employee expresses confusion at the task, they may need some extra training.
Make Accountability Part of the Culture
Make accountability part of your workplace culture. As a leader, take the lead on this by not only holding yourself accountable for completing tasks you promise to finish, but by encouraging it in others. Workers can easily tell if they can slack off and get away with doing the minimum. However, if the culture frowns on this practice, employees will get the message. Discuss accountability in reviews as well. This will foster a culture of accountability.
Be sure that you are holding yourself accountable before others and setting a good example. Also make sure that you are empowering employees. There are times tasks won’t get completed by certain deadlines, and occasionally that happens. Don’t let one mistake ruin an employee; give them the space to flourish creatively and prove their value to the team.