Accountability in the Workplace and How it Ties into Employee Engagement

Companies have been investing resources into raising the engagement of their employees for years, but despite their best efforts, many of these companies just don’t see the results they were hoping to achieve. In some cases, companies will even score high in the engagement category, but the company still suffers from the less-than-ideal performance. There are usually two reasons this happens:

  • All employees’ opinions are treated equally.

What we take away from this is that employee engagement alone just isn’t enough. Accountability must be added into the equation. Organizations that create a culture where engagement meets accountability are the true winners. All leaders strive to empower their followers, but the problem is that not many realize the link between engagement and accountability.

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The most successful companies use a system known as RACI to help create their overall plan. Let’s take a quick look at that formula real quick.

Responsibility: Define the work that is expected of every member of the team.

Accountability: Members of the team must take ownership of the results of their responsibilities. Accountability drives decisions and ensures implementation.

Consultation: Managers provide clear input and are readily available to answer questions.

Informed: Team members are kept up-to-date on any changes that might affect their work.

Tasks, projects, and everyday jobs should always follow that formula. Leaders pass responsibility to members of the team, who then take ownership of those responsibilities. The problem is that not all managers do this. They simply boss around their subordinates, give those deadlines and then micro-manage every step of the process.

Think of it like a team race where one member of the team hands off the baton to the next member of the team. That baton is accountability. If you try to pass it too soon, the receiver won’t be able to handle it. Pass it too late, and the receiver will feel disengaged.

Managers who are willing to pass on accountability to members of the team and not micro-manage them are showing their trust in that person. When leaders place their trust in someone, most of the time, that person will become more engaged because they feel important to the overall process.

The Link between Accountability and Engagement

In small businesses, leaders are usually able to stay in the ebb and flow of information critical to the growth of the business. They have the ability to approve most major decisions because the number of those decisions is still manageable. As an organization grows, making all decisions will create a bottleneck in your business.

The concept is actually quite simple: create accountability by trusting members of your team. If you don’t trust them, then they should not be in that position, to begin with.

Without accountability, engagement is going to suffer. This happens exponentially, over time.

First of all, when leaders don’t hold themselves accountable, then it sets a bad example. A tendency to become more lenient and forgiving will quickly follow. Team members will start constantly being late with assignments because they’re not accountable. There’s simply no engagement without accountability.

When members of the team stop holding themselves accountable, the impact will get exponentially worse. One delay turns into another. That bad culture spreads throughout the workplace. Tolerating missed deadlines will lead to dangerous behavior. That’s why it’s so important to have guidelines in writing. Those guidelines should hold all members of the team accountable.

The bottom line is that accountability in the workplace directly ties into the engagement of the entire team. Even one person who is allowed to bend the rules can create a snowball effect that lowers engagement of the entire team.

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About the author:

Catherine Park is a professional Content Writer and a blogger full of energy and positivism. She currently works on the BackOfficePro team, a business process outsourcing firm. She is an expert in writing exclusive content on business and technologies that are helpful for large enterprises, SMEs and business startups.

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