3 Sure Ways to Promote Workplace Accountability

  Fred Wilson — September 24, 2019

Employees are one of the key driving forces behind the success of any organization or business. Organizations can maintain a steady workflow and achieve objectives when everyone carries out their responsibilities. Unfortunately, according to the American Management Association, 21% of companies believe that 30-50% of their employees shirk from their responsibilities. This is a significantly high ratio.

Despite the fact that this matter requires significant attention, due to some reasons organizations fail to address it properly and it usually falls beyond the radar. Jeff Miller is the director of corporate learning and performance at Insperity. Miller believes that at times managers let employees avoid accountability because the confrontation can be unpleasant.

According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, accountability in the workplace is linked to increase in commitment to work and employee morale. This suggests that when employees own their work and fulfil their responsibilities, it reflects on their work and confidence.

One of the key issues when employees aren’t held accountable for lack of performance is that it may come across to other employees that lower standards are acceptable. It may also be perceived by the team as favouritism or weakness, which can be demotivating for everyone.

Here are 3 tips you can use to boost accountability at your workplace:

1. Define clear roles and responsibilities

The importance of clearly stated job roles and responsibilities cannot be underestimated. The lack thereof can often lead to misunderstood objectives and unfulfilled responsibilities.

Henry Browning is a senior faculty member at the Centre for Creative Leadership, one of the top-ranked, global providers of leadership education and research. He is also the author of Accountability: Taking Ownership of Your Responsibility. According to Browning, people usually struggle with accountability they are not certain about what lies under their job descriptions. By removing any chances of confusion regarding who is responsible for what can play a major role in helping employees feel more accountable. This will also help members identify gaps, be open to learning new roles and processes, which can ultimately result in a more capable team.

Michael Pires, CEO of JetPay HR & Payroll Services explains that when managers need to get something done by their staff, they should explain or communicate their expectations clearly with reference to timeliness, structure, quality or other key factors. Similarly, employees should ask for clarification in case something is unclear instead of taking up the task silently without communicating the need for more information. You can manage your team more efficiently using team management software.

2. Address the poor performance ASAP

Delaying a confrontation or ignoring an existing issue can only complicate matters further. Also, it can portray the manager or team lead is incapable of conflict management. The key is to identify the issue and resort to solution immediately.

Jeff Miller, author at Insperity, places great emphasis on immediate issue resolution. According to Miller, it is important to deal with the concerned individual one-on-one and as soon as possible. This would avoid reaching a situation where the employee frustration spikes to the breaking point or where an employee’s lack of performance can be blown out of proportion.

Erin Wortham, people engagement manager at Insights Learning and Development believes that quick problem solving can retain a sense of harmony in the workplace. Wortham advises leaders to encourage open dialogue and to get to the source of a problem through honest conversations combined with some investigation.

3. Build a company culture around communication

Effective communication is critical to employee engagement and motivation. In fact, 33% of employees said a lack of open, honest communication has the most negative impact on employee morale.

According to said Caren Merrick, the founder and CEO of Pocket Mentor, poor, ineffective communication can result in missed deadlines, missed opportunities and misunderstandings.[6] This proves that establishing a strong culture of communication is important to every facet of a corporation.

Michael DeFranco is the founder and CEO of Lua writing for The Next Web. Emphasizing how important effective communication is, DeFranco claims to be a firm believer that the issue of lack of accountability at workplace can be solved through channel and message alignment. For example, email may not be the right channel for a query where a word or two will suffice.

What steps do you think organizations can take to increase accountability in the workplace? Let us know in the comments below.

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Author: Fred Wilson

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