Nurturing a Culture of Responsibility Within Your Company

We have all been there in school or work, when a team project is assigned. A meeting is held, and the work is divided up. In the meeting everyone is happy with their assigned work. You knuckle down and get your section done but when the team meets the day before the work is due, you find your teammate hasn’t done their assigned work. Now you are under a time crunch, the team has no choice but to jump in and help them finish their part. If this happens repeatedly and there are never any negative outcomes for the person not completing their work, we have an accountability issue. The other team members become irritated and annoyed. It creates an atmosphere where people will be less willing to help each other. There is conflict and tension and communication breakdown.

If we analyse what is happening. the team members who consistently turn up with their work done on time, have taken responsibility for their work and have demonstrated accountability. Team members who consistently complete their work late or to a poor standard are avoiding their responsibilities and not being accountable

The same thing is happening daily in organisations. The work that needs to be done in an organisation is essentially one big group project. But because the project is so much bigger and less defined, the people not ‘pulling their weight’ or being unaccountable in an organisation are not always visible.  This might resonate with managers and leaders of organisations who assign work to qualified and capable individuals in their teams only to get mixed results.  

Consistently Accountable Team Members

– Completed their work on time

– Consistent high standard

– Solve issues they encounter themselves or suggest solutions.

    Consistently Unaccountable Team Members

    – Complete some of their work on time (enough to get by without consequences)

    – Mixed standard of work.

    – Will stop working when they encounter an issue.

    – Require input from management to solve issues.

    Some people inherently have a sense of accountability. When they are assigned work, they completed it to a high standard. They take pride in their work; they do not want to let themselves or others down. However, if this work is not appreciated or there is a culture which does not promote this behaviour, those people can become disillusioned and slip into the second bucket of unaccountable team members. For leaders to create a culture of accountability there are two tasks. Firstly, ensure accountable team members are recognised and rewarded. Secondly, create a system where unaccountable team members become more visible so the issues can be resolved.

    We help leaders create a culture of accountability in their organisation by implementing a 5 steps framework:

    For each employee you must have:

    – Clear Expectations

    – Clear Capabilities

    – Clear Measurement

    – Clear Feedback

    – Clear Consequences


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