What Is a Culture of Accountability? (Plus 9 Steps To Build It)

It’s essential that the desired outcome is crystal clear from day one. Employees need to be aware of the required steps to reach that goal and how performance will be measured. Discuss this directly with each individual to ensure there is full understanding — and put it in writing to reinforce that understanding. Recommended For You1

One way to do this is by showing employees how their involvement contributes to the company’s big picture success as well as their personal benefit through a rewards and recognition program. If you give the employee the opportunity to come up with their own solutions, you share the responsibility and increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Don’t just set the employee loose without providing the tools that they need to accomplish their tasks. Accountability is a two-way street, and providing support is the manager’s side of the bargain. Make sure that they have all of the resources that they need, including the ability to reach out to you for answers to any stumbling blocks.

As projects develop, it’s important to track progress so that you can course-correct as necessary during a time when it is easier to implement changes. This is where specific short-term goals, as well as a specific ultimate goal, are valuable. For instance, instead of simply telling someone they need to step up their number of customer service calls, tell them they need to interact with at least 200 people.

Let your employees know what they’re doing right as well as what they’re doing wrong each step of the way. Objective feedback opens the door for action-oriented discussions that get results. Feedback develops people who are accountable, boosts motivation and generates productivity. It’s essential. Without it, employees can easily veer off track.

The Covid-19 pandemic has stretched and stressed everyone to the max and, along the way, often led to a more understanding and compassionate workplace. You can maintain that environment by talking through the challenges of a project, helping them appreciate how they’ve grown as a result and emphasizing that you’re always available to help them.

Accountability is vital for a company’s growth. If you don’t hold employees accountable you create a culture of mediocrity. Adopting a policy in which — in partnership — everyone on the team strives to meet stated goals creates instead a positive, rewarding culture in which everyone is proud of the part they play.

A culture of accountability is an organizational culture in which employees are held accountable for completing their tasks and working together to reach goals and solve problems. A culture of accountability involves clear expectations and goals, open lines of communication and strong leadership.

Creating A Culture of Accountability

What is a culture of accountability?

A culture of accountability is an organizational culture in which employees are held accountable for completing their tasks and working together to reach goals and solve problems. A culture of accountability involves clear expectations and goals, open lines of communication and strong leadership.

Creating a culture of accountability in your workplace can have a variety of benefits, including:

How to create a culture of accountability

As a leader in your workplace, there are many things that you can do to foster a culture of accountability among your employees. Here are nine simple steps that you can follow to cultivate a culture of accountability in your workplace:

1. Define workplace expectations

The first step to creating a culture of accountability in your workplace is to define expectations for employees. This can help you create standards that employees are responsible for meeting. Setting workplace expectations can include:

After developing expectations, its important to communicate these expectations to your employees. As you communicate expectations to employees, be sure to explain the relevance of the expectations so that employees understand why exactly they should meet the expectations.

2. Set strong goals

To keep everyone in your workplace accountable, its also important to set strong goals. Setting goals can help everyone in your workplace understand what they should be working toward. To set strong goals, you can use the SMART method to create goals that are:

3. Monitor progress

After setting goals, its also important to monitor your workplaces progress toward accomplishing goals. Monitoring progress involves creating metrics and analyzing data. After analyzing data, you can also determine if goals need to be adjusted or if any specific employees need help.

4. Encourage commitment

Another key part of establishing a culture of accountability is encouraging commitment from employees. Its important for employees to be committed to their work and to holding other employees accountable. This can increase employee engagement and productivity.

5. Communicate consequences

Its also important to communicate the consequences that can occur if employees do not meet expectations. This can help keep them motivated and accountable to complete their responsibilities. Be sure to consider how to motivate different employees.

6. Show leadership

Be sure to showcase leadership to continue developing your workplaces culture of accountability. Showing leadership can help you set a good example for your employees so that they emulate positive behavior. You can develop skills in leadership through gaining leadership experience, reading books about leadership and taking leadership classes. Leadership includes:

7. Take responsibility for mistakes

Part of creating a culture of accountability is taking responsibility for mistakes when they occur, so be sure to take responsibility for any mistakes that you make. Dealing with mistakes includes:

8. Gather feedback from employees

Another important step to developing a culture of accountability in your workplace is getting feedback from employees. Be sure to keep an open line of communication with employees so that they feel comfortable giving feedback and discussing problems. This can further help everyone in the workplace stay accountable.

In addition to taking feedback from employees, be sure to give employees feedback. Mention areas where employees are excelling as well as areas where they need to improve. This can help hold employees accountable and make them better at their jobs.

9. Hire the right employees

When its time to hire new employees, be sure to consider your culture of accountability. To hire accountable employees, try to find employees who are willing to admit mistakes and solve problems. You can ask about these traits in interviews to determine whether an interviewee can become an accountable employee. Hiring accountable employees can help you continue building a team that can contribute to your workplaces culture of accountability.


What is meant by a culture of accountability and why is it important?

How to Build a Culture of Accountability in Your Organization
  1. Start from the top. Accountability comes from the top. …
  2. Create a safety net to encourage accountability. …
  3. Hire accountable people. …
  4. Articulate goals and responsibilities clearly. …
  5. Ensure results are consistent with the performance. …
  6. Make meetings actionable.

What are the 4 steps to accountability?

How to Build a Culture of Accountability
  1. Walk the Talk.
  2. Define Results and Expectations.
  3. Gain Commitment.
  4. Be Open to Feedback and Problem Solving.
  5. Hire Accountable Employees.
  6. Coach Employees on How to Be Accountable.
  7. Consequences and Reinforcement.
  8. Hold Each Other Accountable ​

How do you measure culture of accountability?

Simply put, accountability in the workplace means holding employees and executives responsible for accomplishing goals, completing assignments, and making decisions. Creating a culture of accountability helps ensure that employees show up for shifts, understand what’s expected of them, and meet deadlines.

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