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How to Grow Accountability at Work

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Accountability at Work is Hard To Grow

Accountability in the workplace is hard to grow for leaders because there is a lot of negative social proofing, that is, the negative feedback loops, that are created on dysfunctional teams.

Much of this negative social proofing is transmitted via poor workplace communication practices, environments of incivility being allowed to flourish, and a lack of strong metrics form leaders for success on teams.

When there is little trust—or even belief that anything (or anybody) worth trusting will show up in the first place—then there is little incentive for people and organizations to stand up and say “Yes, I made this decision.”

What can leaders on teams go to overcome, not only a lack of accountability in the workplace but also to create environments where accountability has a chance to grow?

Accountability at Work Scales Because of Leadership

Accountability at work only grows if leaders understand that scaling trust is hard, but not impossible.

The thing is the courage to create and develop a positive, consistent leadership communication environment in the face of a lack of positive social proofing has never been in shorter supply than it is right now.

Robust leadership that doesn’t allow workplace environments defined by the presence of the Victim Cycle to grow is the only antidote to a lack of workplace accountability, and there are two areas leaders can grow the environment that will support the beginning of acts of accountability.

Top 2 Ways to Grow Accountability at Work

Accountability at work grows in environments of trust where there is a focus on quality and competency, rather than speed and “just getting it done.”

Trust – In times of disruption, a lack of trust grows when previous expectations, metrics, goals, and achievements are ignored or downplayed.

For leaders to establish workplace environments where accountability can flourish, they must create environments of trust-based in consistent, long-term communication and goal-oriented activities.

In other words, leaders should focus on the small things to build trust before asking for accountability.

Competency – The quality shortage in leadership is exposed during times of change and disruption. But it goes deeper than that.

In the pursuit of thinner and thinner profit margins, and with high unemployment and social unrest, the search for quality—of work, of attitude, of standards, of values—becomes a desperate search where leaders who have been quietly building trust the whole time get a chance to shine.

Trust + Competency = Quality

When there is little trust—or even belief that anything (or anybody) worth trusting will show up in the first place—then there is little incentive for people and organizations to stand up and say “Yes, I made this decision.”

Leaders must grow trust competently to create environments where accountability becomes not something to focus on, but instead something that has existed all along.

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