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How To Create A Culture Of Accountability

An insight into how to create a culture of accountability.

How To Create A Culture Of Accountability

Accountability in the workplace promotes engagement and relies upon every employee taking ownership and responsibility for their role in the business. 

Creating a culture of accountability in a company is essential to a business’s growth and success. If you’re a business owner looking to incorporate accountability into your way of working, there are a range of ways you can encourage accountability in the workplace.

To create a culture of accountability in the workplace, it’s important to:

  1. Set clear workplace expectations
  2. Set SMART goals 
  3. Encourage commitment from employees  
  4. Prioritise providing support 
  5. Monitor employee performance and progress 
  6. Provide feedback

1. Set Clear Workplace Expectations 

The first step to creating a culture of accountability is for managers to set clear workplace expectations.

Each employee needs to know what they’re responsible for, how their performance will be measured, and what steps are required to help them achieve their specific targets. 

You will also need to put these expectations in writing to reinforce what is expected of each individual on the team. 

By setting clear workplace expectations, then, you can improve focus and employee engagement. 

2. Set SMART Goals 

The next step to creating a culture of accountability is to set SMART goals for your business.

SMART goals are:

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable 
  3. Achievable 
  4. Relevant
  5. Time-bound

Considering a study on workplace accountability has shown that a remarkable ‘85% of survey participants indicated they weren’t even sure what their organizations are trying to achieve’, the need for clear goals is apparent. 

setting goals to encourage accountability

If goals aren't met, don't let the feeling linger - arrange a 1 to 1 with your staff member and find ways in which they can improve.

Setting SMART goals holds your workforce accountable whilst helping to ensure everyone understands the goals they should be working towards. 

3. Encourage Commitment From Employees 

A fundamental part of establishing a culture of accountability is to encourage commitment to the goals you have set out. 

Establishing SMART goals and getting your employees to commit to them encourages ownership and motivates them to see their responsibilities through to the end.

This is emphasised by research on accountability that found there’s a 65% chance of you completing a goal if you commit to someone else that you’ll do it

A good way to encourage commitment is to show specific examples of how your employee’s work contributes to the success of your business.

By providing them with a greater sense of responsibility, you increase the likelihood of them completing the goals they’re responsible for. 

4. Prioritise Providing Support 

Accountability isn’t a one-way street, and if your employees are going to meet their goals and targets, you need to prioritise providing them with support. 

This level of support needs to go beyond you simply providing them with the tools they need to complete their tasks. 

supporting staff to reach goals and be accountable

From resources to making time for them when they come across roadblocks, providing them with support along the way is the manager’s responsibility and is fundamental to fostering a culture of accountability. 

By providing consistent support, then, employees are better equipped to carry out the tasks at hand and meet their goals.  

5. Monitor Employee Performance & Progress 

It’s no good to set goals if you’re not going to monitor employee performance and progress.

According to research carried out by Gallup, only ‘40% [of employees] feel as if their manager holds them accountable for goals they set’ which can have a direct impact on motivation, emphasising the importance of measuring employee performance.

To do this, you’ll need to analyse data and use metrics specific to their roles to measure employee performance. 

By analysing this data, you can better determine whether the goals need to be adjusted to better promote growth

Additionally, this will give you a wider understanding of whether specific employees need more support and will help you to measure the effectiveness of holding your employees to account.

6. Provide Feedback

Last, but not least, to create a culture of accountability you will need to provide feedback. 

Establish what your employees do well and what they could improve on in the future, but try to be as specific as possible.

The importance of providing employees with feedback is emphasised by the fact that ‘positive feedback boosts intrinsic motivation’, and increases productivity whilst also instilling confidence in your workforce.

offering feedback to encourage accountability

Without providing feedback, employees can easily lose sight of their goals and the business can suffer as a result.

Hopefully this article has given you a better understanding of how to create a culture of accountability. 


We are Tramshed Tech: a startup ecosystem home to 50+ companies ranging from pre-revenue start-ups to scaling businesses with 600+ registered members from the digital, creative and tech communities. We’re currently based in Grangetown, Cardiff Central & Newport, and are soon expanding to other sites across South Wales to Barry and Swansea

If you’re interested in joining us at any of our locations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch

Written by Jemima Thomas for Tramshed Tech.


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