How to Train Employees to be Accountable for their Actions

September 1, 201610:46 am2648 views

An employee’s accountability is crucial for a business to thrive, succeed and sustain the growth momentum. Accountability of an employee has close relationship with the sense of ownership towards the job role and affects how employees accomplish deadlines and get things done within a time period.

Sense of ownership towards the job function is about holding sense of integrity and accountability for your actions and be aware of the fact that your final decision can impact or grow the business.

According to a study, highly accountable employees perform within strict time frame to accomplish goals such as improving quality and performance, encouraging participation and involvement of the team, increasing competency and skills, commitment towards the job role, creativity and boost morale of other employees to perform and set new benchmarks of excellence.

See also: 5 Ways to Build Sense of Ownership at Work

When employees show signs of accountability, they are highly responsible and do not fear failure.

Conversely, those who lack sense of accountability could turn other employees in the team to shrug responsibility, these employees are unable to execute tasks on time, lack team and time management skills, thus contributing to low quality of work.

Managers should be aware of the employees who slack responsibility, are dissatisfied in their job roles and tend to always make room for excuses or play “blame-games” at work.

Managers should provide ample opportunities for employees to feel sense of pride and ownership towards the work function, such that they execute tasks on time. They should trust the workforce to help them feel more responsible for their actions.

In many cases, managers allow too much leeway for indiscipline attitudes and poor performance to creep in. They tend to be less aware about employee’s performance, provide little feedback for improvement and constructive criticism.

Some managers exercise sense of authority and are unable to trust their employees to make responsible decisions and actively seek for solutions to address issues. They treat employees like children who cannot work independently, tend to be dictatorial in their leadership style to state what employees should do and should not execute.

Such managers do not allow employees to learn, take responsibility for mistakes of a team member and correct them promptly. Hence, leadership should be moulded right at the top management, such that those in the team can be groomed effectively to assume leadership roles earlier in time.

Here are some simple ways employers can train employees to be accountable at work:

  1. Lower the control levers

Exercising low control doesn’t always result in low performance. As matured people, employees need to be managed by those who trust and showcase accountability at work.

Delegating, encouraging, coaching and letting-go are some of the important things, leaders must follow to encourage employee accountability at work.

It is not always easy for employers to lower the control. Patience and trust are needed to help employees feel more accountable at work.

However, employers can still help employees alongside by setting clear expectation and targets to be accomplished, setting the boundaries for errors and standardise systems, offer supervision and suggestions when needed to help employees accomplish the job successfully with minimal scope for errors.

  1. Encourage delegation

It would be much more easier and quicker for employees to solve problems with some help and direction from the senior managers. Effective delegation is indeed important to get the tasks executed on time.

To boost employee accountability, employers should encourage delegation, wherein employees are given a chance to prove their mettle, handle tasks independently with a sense of responsibility and ownership for their actions.

Issues such as setting up a meeting or deciding on the right vendor, proposing some strategies for market reach, ideating new expansion plans will boost employee morale, engagement and lead to a productive workforce. This will thus, make employees grow, retain the talented bunch and gradually increase accountability levels in the workplace.

  1. Be a role model

Sometimes it is hard for employers to admit mistakes and stay devoid of the blaming attitude, when errors surface. Such attitudes portrayed in a leadership role would only exemplify bad leadership, and employees would soon follow suit to showcase the same behavioural pattern when they make mistakes.

When employers expect employees to behave and act in a certain manner at work, they have to lead by example and be a source of inspiration.

Admitting mistakes will not only drive employees to be open about their mistakes, create transparency, and provide room for constructive criticism to seek growth in a job role. Also, this helps employees to not make mistakes time and again, avoid trials and errors, be more dedicated and committed at work.

  1. Accept failures

If employers want to encourage more accountability at work, they should allow employees to make mistakes and provide them with the right guidance to avoid repetitive errors in future.

However, when an employee fails to deliver as per commitments and within stringent guidelines, managers should be able to take charge and control the emotion, forgive and treat employees with respect.

Unaccepting failures of employees will make them disgruntled at work, dampen their morale and motivation levels to innovate, shrug responsibility, lead to dissatisfaction and overall, this culture at work will not promote leadership development. Encouraging employees to be accountable at work needs great patience and trust.

Next read: 5 Signs of a Toxic Workplace

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