How to Build a Strong Culture of Accountability

a man lifting weights to show how one can build a Strong Culture of Accountability

A Strong Culture of Accountability Matters
Our organizational alignment research found a strong culture of accountability accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing organizations. If you desire a healthy, strong culture of accountability (and who doesn’t), leaders need to cascade accountability throughout your organization.

Weak Accountability
Without a strong culture of accountability, leaders risk a culture where:

  • people do not consistently do what they say they will do
  • one team member cannot depend upon another
  • targets are not reached

What kind of organization can survive or thrive under these circumstances?

The Components of a Strong Culture of Accountability
Yes, weaving accountability into the basic fabric of your culture takes leadership and persistence, but the alternative is bleak. Here’s what you need to do to achieve a strong culture of accountability, why it matters and what it looks like.

1.  Compelling Mission
The organization has a clear fundamental purpose that employees understand, accept and fully commit to achieving.

2.  Open Book
Leaders share what they know, what they do not know and how they make decisions. Employees are not left out of the process. They are actively involved, can ask questions, offer ideas and candidly discuss issues.

This ensures employees feel valued and involved in the company’s mission.

3.  Clear Strategy
The strategic plans for both the near and long term future should be well-known throughout the organization…from top to bottom. Each employee should have a clear sense of how they will contribute and of what success will look like.  This strategic clarity is what will drive consistent implementation throughout the organization.

Each team and department will have their own goals that derive from the overall strategy and will be held accountable for monitoring and reaching those goals.

4.  Clear Expectations
Each worker should have a clear understanding of the values and behaviors the organization expects. If, for instance, the company believes that the customer comes first, employees should focus on customer needs and, within the purview of their job, feel empowered to do what they can to meet and exceed client expectations.

5.  Performance Management
At the individual level, each employee will have their own development plan and their own “score card” for how well they are performing. The individual success metrics should align with the key performance indicators of their specific role and responsibilities.Managers should be well schooled on how to coach their team members and guide their behaviors toward ever higher performance.

The Bottom Line
Sounds like a lot of work, right? Ah, but what we have learned is that this kind of structure and process is what define best-in-class organizations.

To learn more about how to build a strong culture of accountability, download The 3 Levels of a High Performance Culture

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