How To Integrate Organizational Accountability in Your Business
Establishing a work culture consistent with the overarching values and goals of a company is becoming more critical than ever. With the emergence of what people call "The Great Resignation," employers are waking up to the fact that creating a sustainable business starts with your employees.
Potential employees and consumers are paying more attention to businesses that make an effort to hold themselves accountable. Still, this is something many large organizations struggle to accomplish.
According to management expert Anne Loehr, 93 percent of employees don't have a clear idea of their responsibilities and organization's goals, which compromises their ability to align themselves to company needs. In addition, 84 percent feel that their employers refrain from taking heed of their concerns and suggestions.
A Lack of Accountability Can Be Destructive For Workplace Environment..
A lack of accountability can lead to lowered morale, unclear priorities, low levels of trust, and high turnover.
With many companies still opting for remote working -or at the very least, a hybrid – model, keeping morale and performance levels up has become a top priority. However, many employees don't see that integrating organizational accountability can bolster workplace culture, encourage compliance, and positively affect your bottom line, all while increasing job satisfaction.
While fostering a culture of accountability is not an easy task, the best way is to lead by example. Leaders of the organization should embody the core principles they expect their teams to follow.
To empower businesses towards holding people accountable, we will explore some actionable ways entrepreneurs can integrate organizational accountability into the workplace.
Let's dive right in!
1. Establish Meaningful Goals To Move Your Business Forward
Before you can hold your entire team – or yourself for the matter- accountable, it's essential to establish meaningful goals and objectives you want the organization to achieve. From here, you need to devise a plan of action for how you will reach these goals.
Employees can't hold themselves responsible for what they don't understand. Consider your company's long-term and short-term goals and communicate these ideas to them.
Be open to feedback here as well. Your company should prioritize listening to what your team has to say. Such actions will create a safe space where your workers feel seen and heard.
Track your progress regularly and be ready to revise the plan when needed.
2. Lead Your Team Members by Example
As a manager, you can set the tone of team performance and promote a positive culture within your organization. If you want your team to be held accountable, focus on demonstrating and leading by example.
If you're a manager who consistently shows up late for meetings, pushes deadlines, and fails to own up to mistakes, your workers are likely to exhibit the same behavior over time.
It's essential to be a leader that makes an effort to support his team and respects the hard work and hours they put towards achieving organizational goals.
Create high expectations for yourself as well as your team members.
3. Reward and Acknowledge the Problem Solvers
Problems will always arise in the workplace. It's just part of the job. But, unfortunately, it's easy for many companies to be apathetic towards tackling issues and point the finger at someone else.
Leaders need to send the message to their team that if one person has a problem, we all have a problem. Delivering quality solutions should be a collective effort regardless of who is responsible.
If you come across a problem solver in your team, be sure to add a bonus to their paystub or at least acknowledge their efforts. You must motivate employees to accept personal responsibility moving forward and help them succeed.
4. Know The Importance Of Change
As a leader, you need to know when change is necessary for you and your business. Managers should focus on taking control of every situation and making decisions that enhance their team's ability to succeed.
For your team members to practice self-accountability, you need to acknowledge what isn't working and where there is room for improvement. In addition, employees need to be able to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable practices.
Develop ways of dealing with unproductive or underperforming employees by setting boundaries and consequences for those who do not meet expectations in day-to-day operations.
The more you vocalize these recurring issues, the more your team will commit to taking ownership of their actions.
5. Encourage Direct and Open Communication
Creating a space for direct and open communication gives your team members a platform to share their opinions and inspires more trust in the organization.
Employees want to know that their voice matters in the organization, which will provide them with greater intrinsic value when their contributions positively impact the business.
In addition, allowing your team members to share their goals and opinions is the best way to hold anyone accountable. Individuals are less likely to go against their word and tend to follow through on their plans once they've shared them out loud.
6. Provide Constructive Feedback As Direct Reports
One of those most important things about being a manager is giving clear and constructive feedback to your team members. This includes letting them know what they're doing well just as much as where they need to improve.
A global survey by Deloitte showed that learning and development were essential for both Millennials and Gen Z employees, coming in third after fair pay and opportunities for advancement.
Giving constructive feedback can be a challenge for some managers, so it's important to make it a habitual practice. The more frequent feedback is given, the less likely an employee will feel blind-sighted, leading to mistrust, disengagement, and resentment in the workplace.
Always approach constructive feedback with the intention of seeing your employees develop their skillset further.
7. Create an Accountability Framework
If you're keen on the idea of promoting accountability in your business but are having a hard time knowing where to start, consider implementing an accountability framework.
A tried-and-true method of introducing these concepts can make the transition much easier for your employees and workplace environment.
The RACI matrix or chart is a helpful tool that ensures every team member involved in a particular project is assigned a specific role, each broken down into four levels of accountability:
- Responsible: Those who are responsible for completing the task at hand.
- Accountable: Those who are ultimately responsible for the completion of the task or deliverable. These people oversee and delegate the work to those who are responsible for completing it.
- Consulted: These individuals are typically the most knowledgeable about the particular task and are the go-to for questions and guidance on the subject matter.
- Informed: These are the individuals who coordinate and keep tabs on the progress at each stage of the project. This is usually done in the form of one-way communication.
By setting these clear expectations from the beginning, your teams will begin to feel a sense of empowerment from being trusted with responsibility. Moreover, it will help achieve a more cohesive working environment, where everyone has a role that contributes to a collective goal.
8. Celebrate Successes as They Happen
Finally, a great way to inspire a culture of accountability and increase employee morale is to celebrate the efficacy of your new approach.
The best way to get new organizational practices to stick is to show employees how much they contribute positively. It's important to track your progress, have a direct report of analytics and celebrate the successes as they happen.
Determine what's working well and what isn't to set your organization up for a greater chance of success. Then, keep your team in the loop and acknowledge mistakes you've made along the way that everyone can learn from.
Your team will feel a greater sense of accomplishment, intrinsic value, and job satisfaction as a result.
The culture of accountability means leading by example. If a manager has low levels of self-accountability, it will be hard for employees to achieve high standards in their work because they know that there are no repercussions.
You can create more organizational accountability by providing feedback and giving recognition when employees go beyond expectations. Accountability strategies help increase productivity by motivating everyone to take ownership of their actions.
If you are not holding people answerable, progress is not possible. Tolerating missed deadlines, tardiness, and apathy make it difficult for employees to take ownership of their work. As a result, your team suffers, and ultimately your organization's culture suffers too.
Transparency is the most effective way to give your employees a fighting chance of creating a better workplace. And while full transparency may not happen overnight, it's an integral component of defining clear roles and making your organizational culture more accountable.