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Accountability refers to the obligation of accepting responsibility for one’s actions. It is a vital attribute of every human being. But unfortunately, many people are not accountable and do not even make efforts to be. In the workplace, it is one of the most essential traits of workers, as it ensures that work is done effectively.

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Without accountability, repetitive mistakes, missed deadlines and lack of trust in engagements become the norm. To avoid all these, it is important that you build accountability in your workplace, while ensuring that people are held responsible for their actions. In this article, I explain ways you can increase accountability in the workplace.

Lead by example

You cannot expect your employees to be accountable when you, as the manager (in whatever capacity) are not accountable. Ownuptoyourmistakes,don’t show up late for meetingsand don’t push back deadlines. Even if you are the business owner, act like you report to someone, because you actually do. You are accountable to yourself, to ensure your business grows without excuses. Show this example and watch your employees follow suit.

Set achievable goals

Sometimes the problem is not necessarily from employees, but from the unattainable goals set by managers. For instance, it is very unlikely for your mobile application to hit 10,000 downloads in one month, when you had only about 50 downloads the previous month.You mount unnecessary pressure on your employees to hit that target.

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Sorry to disappoint you, but the possibility is next to zero. Set SMART goals that will be clear and achievable for your team.

Follow up

Try to always follow upon what your employees are doing. It can go a long way to keeping them motivated. Have constant discussions with them to find out their challenges and measure their progress. An employee might not be performing well due to some personal issues they may have. But a simple conversation will let them know that you are interested in their well being, and that they can always get help when needed.

Provide feedback

Feedback is necessary in every communication loop. Whether it is from your customers, your employees or anyone else, it is important.

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When they carry out certain tasks, be sure to give immediate feedback on the results they have achieved. This encourages accountability, as they are able to see their wrongs and make efforts towards amendment.

Be accessible

Essentially, this means being available to hear them out and provide resources needed to get work done. Sometimes, employees are inefficient at work due to the fact that they do not have the right resources or understanding to perform their tasks. Make yourself accessible, or at least, get someone (like the HR manager) to take charge of providing them with all the information and resources they need to work. This way, they are more likely to be accountable. There will be no excuse as to why there are deficiencies. You’re more than a boss, you’re a people-builder. Ensure you are equipping your employees with what they need to not just perform well at your company, but in their lives.

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This article was first published on 3rd November 2022


Chidiogo Shalom Akaelu holds a degree in English and Literary Studies, from the University of Nigeria. She is a freelance writer, editor and founder of Loana Press, a budding online publishing outlet.

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