Written by Stacey Greer | March 15, 2023
Find out how self-accountability in the workplace helps build a stronger organizational culture, encourages leadership transformation, and boosts long-term success.
Business leaders are always looking for ways to increase productivity and performance in the workplace. They strive to cultivate a culture of success and empowerment in their teams, but what if there was one tool that could help them achieve this? Enter self-accountability—a powerful way to increase employee morale and employee engagement, drive results, and create a thriving workplace culture of higher performance. Let’s look at how self-accountability can be used to unlock your team’s potential and elevate your organization's culture.
What is Self-Accountability in the Workplace?
In today’s business world, there is a lot of talk about the importance of accountability, but what does it really mean to be accountable? And why is it so important in the workplace?
At its core, accountability is when a team member takes responsibility for their actions and their results, good and bad. It’s when they acknowledge mistakes and learn from them. It’s when they are accountable to themselves and to others. When employees are accountable, they are in control of their own destiny. They are the driver of their own success, and that is a powerful thing.
Why is Self-Accountability in the Workplace Important?
Self-accountability is especially important in the workplace because it breeds trust, respect, and credibility. When leaders are accountable to themselves and to their teams, they are setting the tone for a positive, productive work environment. Employees who practice self-accountability demonstrate a commitment to excellence on both an individual and organizational level because they strive for results that go beyond simply meeting expectations.
The Benefits of Self-Accountability in the Workplace
The following reasons help explain how increased self-accountability in the workplace can lead to better organizational performance overall. High performing teams result in high performing companies.
1. Increased Employee Engagement
When employees hold themselves accountable for their own actions, they become more engaged in their work. This increases motivation as individuals recognize that they have some control over the outcome of their efforts, resulting in higher quality work as well as greater job satisfaction. A sense of trust between employees and leadership is established which leads to higher employee morale and improved performance overall.
2. Creative Problem Solving and Innovation
Self-accountable workers tend to be more proactive problem solvers since they take are personally taking ownership of any issues that arise, rather than relying on others to fix them. They are more likely to find ways to innovate and come up with creative solutions - something that could benefit any business in today's competitive landscape. This helps foster an environment of effective teamwork through collaboration and creativity as everyone works together towards common objectives.
3. Increased Productivity
Self-accountable employees are often more productive and are less likely to procrastinate or make excuses. They understand that it is ultimately up to them to get things done on time and with quality results.
Self-Assessment: Is Your Organization Self-Accountable?
Self-accountability is a desirable trait for any organization. In order to self-assess the status of organizational accountability in your workplace, consider the following scenarios:
Do employees complete tasks on time, or are there continual missed deadlines?
Are employees receiving constructive criticism? Do they accept criticism and use it to improve their performance?
Do leaders give their direct reports vague expectations or clear expectations?
Do leaders complete performance reviews or provide enough feedback to their team?
Do staff handle disagreements maturely?
Do leaders role model personal accountability to encourage self-accountability in other employees?
Are co-workers showing initiative and responsibility for their work or do they need to be micro-managed?
Do team members demonstrate accountability and/or hold other employees accountable?
If these questions arouse suspicions of self-accountability issues within your organization, read on for tips to create a company culture of self-accountability.
Creating a Culture of Self-Accountability in the Workplace
Creating a company culture with more accountability is not a simple task, but it's one that can reap huge rewards. When leaders foster accountability, it encourages employees to make better decisions, take initiative, and collaborate more effectively.
1. A Culture Change Starts with Leadership
A culture of self-accountability starts with leadership - leaders should clearly define expectations and model this behaviour to their team members by regularly holding themselves accountable. From there, providing opportunities for employees to practice accountable behaviour and giving them the resources and feedback they need can help spread this culture throughout the organization.
2. Transparency Encourages Accountability
Having transparency among leadership fosters a self-accountable culture within a work environment. By creating an atmosphere of open communication and continuous sharing of progress and results, it creates an expectation for those working in the organization to hold themselves accountable in order to succeed and excel.
Transparency from leadership not only instills self-accountability, but also breeds trust and loyalty throughout the entire workplace. This level of trust encourages employees to take initiative as they know their efforts will be seen and rewarded. In turn, an organization that consistently engages in transparent leadership enables its employees to become self-motivated for accountability.
3. Giving and Receiving Feedback
Providing feedback to others and actively seeking it in return helps keep everyone motivated, engaged, and on track. By setting standards for both giving and receiving feedback, leaders can maintain a healthy flow of information that helps to shape an efficient team dynamic.
Establishing a strong foundation through open dialogue isn’t only essential to feedback loops but it's also vital for optimal teamwork; communication creates understanding and understanding creates trust. All in all, leadership providing feedback and asking for it back promotes self-accountability which leads to more successful work relationships.
4. Hiring a Transformation Coach
Investing in a coach to assist with leadership and culture transformation is an incredibly worthwhile endeavour for any company's development. When coaches encourage accountability, it can unlock hidden potential throughout the organization and lead to more efficient operations. Coaches bring expertise, challenge assumptions, and facilitate meaningful conversations that empower your team to create change from within.
Every coaching engagement looks different and should be tailored specifically to your organization's goals, from transforming the culture at large to helping executives with their own personal transformation. Engaging a professional coach will give you access to tools and resources unavailable elsewhere, creating a self-sustaining circle of accountability that leads directly to an organization's long-term success.
Challenges to Consider
As with anything, fostering a culture of self-accountability in the workplace is not without its challenges. However, if you are aware that these challenges could arise for you or other team members, it makes it easier to overcome them.
Some self-accountable individuals can be perfectionists who expect too much from themselves and others. This can lead to frustration and disappointment when things don't go as planned. It is important to remind team members that no one is perfect and they aren't expected to be. When employees see their leaders owning up to their own mistakes, it can often make it feel less daunting for them to do the same.
Constantly striving for excellence can be exhausting both mentally and physically. Be sure to take breaks and allow time to recharge. Work/life balance is essential for any high performing team.
If self-accountability is not managed correctly, it can lead to blame. Having the courage to be vulnerable is a necessary step to self-accountability as it means setting ego aside, and being brave enough to own mistakes and ask for help when needed.
A Sustainable and Profound Impact on Your Workplace
Self-accountability has the power to transform any workplace into an environment where excellence thrives and success emerges naturally from hard work and dedication of each individual employee. Executives must take active steps towards creating a culture where this value is appreciated and rewarded in order for businesses to stay competitive in today's marketplace. By setting clear expectations for performance levels as well as providing feedback regularly, executives can ensure their team members understand accountability comes from within—and success follows soon after!
Through self-accountability, remarkable results and lasting progress can be achieved. Self-accountability is the cornerstone of great leadership and healthy cultures that can have a profound impact on an organization. That’s why Stacey Greer Transformational Coaching is dedicated to helping you transform your mindset, leadership teams, and culture. We offer our STRETCH Model™ Training Program* and customized workshops that teach the skills needed to build self-awareness and reflective habits that last. If this resonates with you, why not take up the challenge now by scheduling an introductory call with us to explore how we can guide you on this journey of transformation. Here’s to tapping into your organization's true potential—it's time to get started!
*Our STRETCH Model™ Training Program is eligible for employee training cost assistance through the Canada Alberta Job Grant.