7 Steps to Creating a Culture of Accountability

Posted on June 2016 By Speller International
7 Steps To Creating A Culture Of Accountability

​Accountability. It’s one of those words that can either instill a sense of pride and empowerment for an employee, or sweat beaded panic attacks.

While some people thrive under the knowledge that they are accountable for the successful delivery of a project, it’s important to recognise that not everyone is built to carry that pressure. By making accountability one of the key values of your organisation and aligning roles within a project to the most appropriate personalities, you are setting up your organisation to thrive.

Here are 7 ways to make accountability part of your project culture:

1. Define responsibilities

To be held accountable, first your staff must know what’s expected of them: what their tasks and responsibilities actually are. This means having their KPI’s or targets properly defined, explained and understood.

2. Lead by example

If you’re in a management position, you are accountable for your own actions as well as those of your team. You need to follow the same rules, standards and expectations – or your team might not be so ready to accept accountability.

By being accountable you will build trust within your team. Staff know they can rely on you to perform your job and accept responsibility if things go wrong.

3. Don’t shift blame

People who are accountable acknowledge their error but, most importantly, work towards finding a solution – which might require help beyond their capabilities. If you find yourself in this position, fess up and work towards fixing the problem or finding a solution

4. Take pride in your work

Work ethic plays a major part in someone’s ability to be accountable for their actions. It’s about taking pride in your work and delivering above and beyond expectations, not merely going through the motions.

This is particularly important with project work, when it’s easier for tasks to fall through the cracks due to the many people being involved. Always follow a job through, even if it’s not technically your responsibility.

5. Accept the good with the bad

Being accountable isn’t just about accepting responsibility when things go wrong. It also means you’ll get a pat on the back for a job well done.

6. Learn from mistakes

Admitting to an error is an opportunity to ask for feedback or suggestions on how you could have done things differently. You might even come up with your own solutions and ask for an opinion. When you apply for similar tasks in the future you’ll be better equipped to handle them.

7. Step back

As a manager you can decide how to evaluate the work your employees deliver. But be cautious of micromanagement… you can’t hold your employees accountable when someone is standing over them checking their work every 5 minutes!

Ultimately, accountability links back to management setting a good example and leading from the front. With effective structure, your projects will thrive and employees will use more initiative and embrace more responsibility. In turn, recognise the success of your staff and those who step forward into more accountable roles – you might just be looking at a potential new project manager…