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How to Build a Culture of Accountability

Yesterday we shared the individual ROLE we all play in the performance of our team. We also shared how BEING accountable is much more enjoyable than being HELD accountable.

In the article we quoted by Dr. Kammy Haynes, founder and president of Inside the Bottom Line on the website: Talent Management/Chief Learning Officer, she writes that most successful and highly engaged organizations proactively focus on these eight components to increase accountability and performance:

Purpose and connection – Employees with a clear purpose and understanding of how they contribute to the team goals and bigger vision are more engaged and accountable.

Goals and expectations – Co-creating clear and realistic goals with your employees and colleagues will increase buy-in, commitment, innovation and productivity.

Autonomy and trust – By focusing on the outcome rather than the process and trusting them to do their best, employees are more creative and take more initiative to improve and streamline the workflow.

Patience and resilience – By accepting the learning curve and encouraging employees to learn from their mistakes, problems are solved more quickly and effectively while relationships are preserved and strengthened.

Reward and recognition – What gets rewarded gets repeated. By appreciating and rewarding employee performance and behaviors, they gain a sense of achievement and serve as a role model to others.

Candor and transparency – Create a work environment where honesty, respect, candor and transparency are valued and demonstrated at all levels of the organization. Sharing information and rationale behind policies allows each employee to make more informed decisions.

Metrics and tracking – Tracking progress and celebrating milestones ensures course corrections are implemented, goals are achieved and rewards and recognition are delivered appropriately.

Feedback and coaching – By providing constructive feedback, employees know where they stand and can get the support they need to make course corrections.

When you focus on those eight components, accountability becomes a win-win-win. The employee wins, the manager wins and the company wins. And the wins are generally larger. There is nothing earth-shattering or new in these concepts, but we really like how Haynes brought them all together in an easy-to-digest list of things on which to focus. Accountability and high performance are clearly a two-way street.

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB