15 Traits to Cultivate Accountability

Accountability is tied to success. When you are accountable, you are incredible. Here are some tools that can help you understand the importance of accountability in the workplace, and how you can hold others accountable.

1. Get an accountability partner.

Exercise is easier to act on when you have a workout partner or hire a personal fitness trainer. Who can you team up with to hold you to a higher standard? Does anyone cross-check you for lack of accountability? Any goal can be less challenging with an accountability buddy. The right partner creates a culture of accountability by offering a reciprocal relationship and positive feedback, in which each person is inspired by the other to achieve more.

2. Use verbal confirmations.

Say it! Let it be known that you made a verbal commitment to accomplish your goals. If you want someone to fulfill an expectation, let the person acknowledge acceptance of the task or project. Once the person acknowledges the expectation verbally, this is the definition of accountability. This will alleviate the need for micromanagement and constant follow-up. Their verbal confirmation will hold employees accountable for completing the task and ensure effective communication.

3. Remind yourself why it is important.

What is the significance of your resolution? Why do you want what you want? Why is it important to you? Do you want to experience greater financial freedom? How about better health? Do you want a better connection in your relationships? Know, understand, and define why what you want is important to you. Write it down. Refer to it often, especially when you are feeling unmotivated.

4. Leverage the importance of full participation.

Share the importance of everyone being fully involved in creating a team and setting smart goals. Allow them to participate in the decision-making whenever possible. Encourage the team to be on time, to prioritize setting goals, and to be mindful of both the group and their individual goals. Let people know that their commitment and participation are vital. In football or any other sport, each role plays a position that contributes to overall success. Encourage the relevance of individual dedication; this will build trust.

“Being an example is not a way of influencing others, it is the only way.”

Albert Einstein

5. Give positive acknowledgment.

Every day you have the opportunity to tell someone they did a great job. It only takes a few seconds to recognize the efforts of others. Who helped you? Who stepped up to contribute value? Personally and publically, give credit to those that earned it! Follow Sam Walton’s advice: “Outstanding leaders go out of the way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel.”

6. Use environmental anchors.

Place items in your environment that evoke action for employee engagement. Display your goals and objectives to encourage workplace accountability. The benefits of accountability will give employees a sense of ownership over their environment. Business leaders understand that job satisfaction is key to cultivating high-performing teams and improving team morale. Major corporations have signage announcing their mission and core values to remind employees and customers what their company culture should look like and what they stand for. It is a good practice to post individual and team goals throughout the work environment, where they can be reviewed often.

7. Focus on personal Accountability.

If you want other team members to be accountable for their actions, then you must first demonstrate your personal accountability. The manager or supervisor who preaches the importance of punctuality but always misses team meetings and check-ins and is consistently tardy loses credibility. If you want to be seen as a leader and to lead others, you must assess your personal responsibility and let your behavior do the talking.

8. Provide appropriate training.

Holding someone accountable that has not been appropriately trained is insanity and will lead to employee turnover. Does the person know what is expected of them? Do they have clear expectations laid out for them? Do they have the skill set to follow through and a safe space to perform what is expected? If not, this is not a question of employee accountability. This is a problem within the leadership workflow. Ongoing training is one of the best ways to ensure Accountability because it removes the excuse of “I didn’t know” or “I don’t know how.” Employees cannot understand workplace culture and take pride in their performance if they aren’t effectively trained.

Everyone needs a coach at one time or another. You might be called upon to fill the role of a coach, a leader, or a friend. The request could come within the next hour, day, week, or month. You can quickly improve your odds of being a success if you follow this template for work relationships and teamwork that offers a few basic yet powerful business coaching tools.

Best of success to you!

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