Accountability in Organizational Culture

Shawnee Love   •  
April 8, 2016

I have blogged in the past about how to create accountability.  With this blog I hope to show you that Accountability is a cornerstone of a good organizational culture.Highway Signpost Accountability

My argument hinges on the premise that a good culture requires trust.  Employees must trust you as their leader to do all of the things you promise to do as well as to do those things which are usually unwritten but expected of leaders like:

  • Make wise decisions that increase the likelihood of success of the business,
  • Treat people fairly,
  • Hold themselves to a higher standard of morals and ethics,
  • Guide, mentor, and/or develop staff, and
  • Deliver results.

Trust (whether earned or gifted due to position), is lost in the face of broken promises and lack of follow through on expectations and goals.  People think its unfair when they hear excuses rather than see promises met. They withhold their effort when they see slackers who fail to deliver get away with it.  Clearly, both of these results are contrary to a good organizational culture not to mention bad for business.

On the other hand, you will create an environment which fosters progress and accomplishment if you hold your people accountable by:

  • Agreeing on challenging yet possible goals up front (must be within your employee’s control & scope),
  • Following up with staff on how well they did, and
  • Assigning consequences for failure to achieve.

When an accountability culture exists, employees hold each other accountable.  Knowing the boss and peers are going to deliver on their expectations leads new employees to deliver as well which makes the culture perpetuate and success more likely.   Another reason I promote accountability, is because an accountable workplace leads to a greater sense of confidence and feelings of security and safety amongst the employees because the company is doing what is expected.  When people feel confident and secure, the foundation is laid for them to throw their heart and souls into their work.  And when that happens, you know you have a culture worth working in.