14 Apr 2023 - 4 minutes to read
An increasing number of businesses are encouraging accountability in the workplace to bolster company culture and promote teamwork.
When you consider that ‘85% of leaders aren’t defining what their people should be working on — and an equal number of employees crave clarity’, the importance of accountability is evident.
In short, accountability in the workplace is when employees are responsible for and take ownership of their own actions and overall performance. As a concept, accountability demands that all employees contribute to the overall success of the company.
Accountability is also essential in creating a culture of trust and ownership, as a business without accountability can result in low morale and high turnover.
If you’re a business owner wondering whether you should encourage accountability in the workplace, you might be wondering what some of the benefits are.
The benefits of accountability in the workplace include, but are not limited to:
One of the main reasons for encouraging a culture of accountability is the potential for improving employee engagement and performance.
Considering that research by Gallup ‘identified a global employee engagement rate of 20% -- 34%’, it’s clear that failure to make employees accountable for their own tasks is bound to exacerbate this problem.
Assigning tasks to your employees that they oversee and are accountable for from start to finish will encourage them to be more engaged in their role and carry out the work to the best of their ability, in turn helping to improve their productivity and performance over time.
Additionally, recognising employees for their good performance, whether that be on an informal or formal basis, boosts greater job satisfaction, helping to improve employee retention and reduce turnover.
In the same breath, the transparency that accountability demands also emboldens individuals to acknowledge their own mistakes without the fear of being blamed and to learn from them effectively.
Accountability is also great for building employee confidence, as it helps to instill a greater level of trust within your employees.
From imposter syndrome to a lack of experience, employee confidence can be a real problem, especially when someone first starts a new job.
While confidence comes with time and experience, accountability can help to make your staff feel more competent working independently and as part of a team.
Additionally, as you give your employees more responsibility, they will become more confident in their own abilities as well as the ability of their coworkers.
Although this won’t happen overnight, ensuring that your employees are responsible for their own work and making sure they recognise the impact their role has on the business will help to encourage a culture where employees can rely on one another.
Accountability in the workplace is also great for encouraging ownership amongst employees.
Failure to encourage ownership through accountability can lead to a variety of issues, including staff dissatisfaction.
This is highlighted by the fact that ‘when employees feel underappreciated, they're more likely to disengage, perform at lower levels, and experience burnout’.
Not only can this increase job and career dissatisfaction, but it is also a recipe for high staff turnover.
Encouraging ownership is important, then, as it allows employees to see the direct impact their work is having and that their contributions to the business matter.
This, in turn, helps to ensure that employees feel valued and respected and that their work is making a difference, working to boost employee morale and job satisfaction.
Lastly, another benefit of encouraging accountability within the workplace is that it improves communication.
When a team is working together to the same end, they’re not only driven by collaboration but they’re also relying on each other to carry out a good job, all of which is a challenge without good communication.
As such, accountability bolsters employees to have potentially difficult conversations, as they’re in charge of the overall performance of that task.
Improving the communication within a team, then, helps to flag any potential issues and allows the team to rectify them efficiently so that all employees are working together to deliver the best work and results possible.
Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of accountability in the workplace as well as a wider perspective of the benefits associated with encouraging accountability within a business.
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Written by Jemima Thomas for Tramshed Tech.