To transform a vision into reality, you need to have the confidence that things are getting done. To gain this confidence, a culture of accountability is critical. Building a culture of accountability isn’t easy. Today, accountability has become one of the biggest challenges that business leaders face. But without it, driving success will be a challenge.
According to Greg Bustin, author of Accountability: The Key to Driving a High Performance Culture, “Lack of accountability is the single greatest obstacle facing even the most experienced leaders. It saps morale, drains profits, and disenfranchises employees–and it can shift your team into crisis mode on a daily basis.”
Part of the reason for lack of accountability is that people equate it to blame – so many try to avoid it. Accountability should be seen as a good word. It’s all about commitment to help you achieve your goals while doing your best to prevent something from going wrong. The path to accountability begins with clarity:
- First you need to bring clarity to the situation – establish clear goals and expectations and communicate this to your team
- Define who is accountable for what and how results will be measured
- Define what results will look like if you’re successful and what the downside of failing looks like so everyone is clear on what could happen
- Set standards for performance and put procedures in place
- Assign leaders who will drive performance and measure the results
- Focus on a few critical goals that are attainable for the company and the individual
- Establish regular meetings to track performance and results – have transparent and open conversations
- Develop a rewards system (that doesn’t always have to be monetary) that praises individuals in both public and private settings
Above all, accountability starts at the top and works itself down. CEOs and management must walk the accountability talk if they expect others in the company to do the same. I work at a company with a culture of accountability. On any given day I’m confident that I’m working with a team that is getting things done. We know that if something looks like it may go wrong- or does go wrong- we can have an open dialog to address problems. It’s challenging to create a culture of accountability but the rewards are great for the team and the individuals on your team once you get there.
So what do you think about accountability?
Is it seen as a good thing or a bad thing where you work? Let us know in the comments below.