Accountability is a hot topic in workplaces. We know that the best companies are built by people ready and willing to take full responsibility for their work. These people own their performance. But you can’t just tell people to be accountable. Instead you must provide the right environment for people to embrace accountability.
To build a culture of accountability, you need three things:
1. Strong purpose
To take responsibility, people need to know what they are working towards. People must also see a clear connection between their jobs and that purpose so they know how they contribute directly.
2. Safe, trusting environment
Being accountable means taking responsibility for the good and the bad. People need to know that when things don’t go as planned, they will be treated fairly. No one is going to step up to the plate if they don’t think they will be supported when things go awry.
Accountability isn’t about words, but actions. It lies in the small, scary moments where we open ourselves up to failure. When we put ourselves on the line, we are forced to bring out our best. People must be given the opportunities to embrace responsibility 100%. This means no micro-managing or hard rules and processes, but rather empowering them and trusting their judgement and their abilities.