Employee Accountability In The Workplace

The mind and heart can envision and feel great things, but so many times there is a disconnect in where we are today vs. where we desire to be. While there are many necessary pieces to bridging that gap, one of the key girders is accountability:  the willingness to do what one says. Part of this is holding others accountable. There must be both individual and team accountability for a business to work effectively.


I am reminded of Peter Block’s book, “Community” where he says: Lip service sabotages commitment. It offers an empty step forward. It comes in the form of “I’ll try.” It is an agreement made standing next to the exit door. Whenever someone says they will try hard, agree to think about it, or do the best they can, it is smart to consider that a no. It may not be a final refusal, but at that moment there is no commitment. We can move forward with refusal; we cannot move forward with maybe. Trying hard is too often a coded refusal. Whether it is a response to feeling coerced, a sense of internal obligation or just a desire to look good, it is really a way to escape the moment and hijacks commitment.

Signs of No Accountability

  1. Not finishing deliverables
  2. Missing deadlines
  3. Mediocrity
  4. High burden on the team leader
  5. Resentment

Creating accountability within an organization is the job of the leaders that are working with the teams everyday. While not everyone wants to be a leader (at least in the traditional sense), we believe everyone is a leader in the sense that they influence everyone around them for better or for worse every day. If they have a sense of integrity, a desire to help the “team” or “family” get to a better future, they have a position of leadership. People with solid work ethic and character take responsibility for what they do.  If you have employees that do not care about those things, then they really have abdicated a “power, right, responsibility” that they have and should perhaps not be on the team.

Do you think I am being too rough? Or is this putting individual responsibility where it should be?

  • How are you teaching mutual accountability to your team?
  • How are you eliminating lip service and ensuring commitment?
  • How are you getting your leaders to influence the organization (even if they don’t think they are leaders)?

When a workplace is designed for accountability success will come, but if you allow people to stay on your team that are not held accountable those that are working hard will stop making the effort or leave for another job.    To learn more about how to achieve more, read our white paper by clicking here.

If you need help increasing accountability in your organization, call 800-786-4332 or email us at info@appliedvisionworks.com.  It is your first step to increased results and a better life and it only takes 30 minutes to get started!

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