In many organizations, accountability is treated as a dirty word. But it shouldn’t be.
The word accountability is perceived negatively because it often involves consequences when expectations or goals are not met. Instead of fearing or avoiding accountability, it should be received and welcomed by organizations as an opportunity for success.
It’s imperative to recognize that accountability is an essential component of a thriving and efficient work environment. Without it, the organization and its employees will remain stagnant and not experience significant growth. It helps individuals take ownership of their actions, learn from their mistakes, and make progress towards their goals.
There are many ways accountability is seen in the workplace and personal life. We will discuss the five most valuable reasons to practice accountability, how accountability can affect inclusivity and diversity in the workplace, why leaders shy away from accountability, and the results of including accountability in your personal or professional life.
Here are the five focal reasons why you should include accountability as a virtue to your personal and professional growth:
- It encourages responsibility.
Being accountable for one’s actions means taking responsibility for the outcomes, both positive and negative. This encourages individuals to think critically about their decisions and actions and take steps to improve their performance.
- It builds trust.
Individuals who are held accountable and perform well are seen as reliable and trustworthy, which establishes trust among team members, stakeholders, and clients, leading to the development of stronger relationships.
- It fosters learning.
Accountability provides individuals with opportunities to learn from their mistakes and improve their skills. This can help them develop a growth mindset, which is essential for personal and professional growth.
- It increases motivation.
When individuals are held accountable for their performance, they are more motivated to achieve their goals. This can lead to increased productivity, better teamwork, and improved results.
- It enhances performance.
Accountability can help individuals identify areas where they need to improve and take steps to address these issues. This can lead to better performance, higher-quality work, and enhanced outcomes.
These five focal reasons for applying accountability in your life can affect you personally, or if you are a leader, effect the organization as a whole. If accountability is used correctly by leaders of the organization there are endless possibilities of growth in both the internal and external environments.
Accountability with Respect to Inclusivity and Diversity
So, how does holding individuals accountable affect an inclusive and diverse environment? Well, leadership researcher and author Brenè Brown says “Unity requires accountability.”
When individuals are held accountable in the internal environment of an organization it fosters a culture of equity and fairness. Leaders and employees who hold each other accountable cause everyone to be held to the same standards and excellence regardless of race, gender, or background.
Remember, the word accountability sounds harsh and dirty, so it is essential to approach it with sensitivity and empathy. An organization must recognize and respect the distinct experiences and backgrounds of team members to create a safe and supportive environment where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute their best work. Holding members of an organization accountable to high standards drives innovations, growth, and success for everyone involved.
Much like Brenè Brown, KF-Strategies implements accountability in our workplace to cultivate an atmosphere of unity and openness, creating a productive environment. However, not all leaders are so willing to holding their teams accountable.
Why Leaders Avoid Accountability
In today’s fast-paced business environment, leaders may be hesitant to hold team members or colleagues accountable for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they fear damaging relationships or causing conflict, or they may worry about appearing too harsh or authoritative. Alternatively, some leaders may lack the skills or knowledge required to provide effective feedback and follow through with consequences.
In her New York Times bestselling book “Dare to Lead,” Brown states that “Daring leaders are never silent about hard things.” Whether it be with my kids, husband or my business, I have learned as a leader that being silent about hard things is never the answer. In life or within an organization, avoiding accountability and choosing silence can lead to a culture of complacency that can cripple potential.
The first step in fostering accountability is for leaders to demonstrate accountability themselves. This can look like attending leadership training, seeking mentorship, asking for feedback, collaborating with others, prioritizing continuous learning, and holding themselves and their team members accountable for their actions and performance.
The Results of Accountability
Accountability is a crucial component of any healthy and productive organization. While it may be perceived negatively at times, it doesn’t have to be a dirty word.
Rather than avoiding accountability, leaders should embrace it as an opportunity for growth and improvement for everyone in the organization. By setting clear expectations, providing feedback, and holding themselves and their team members accountable for their actions and performance, leaders can create a culture of excellence, trust, and respect.
Ultimately, this can lead to increased motivation, innovation, and success for any organization as well as personal growth.
At KF Strategies, we specialize in creating highly collaborative teams, coaching leaders to inspire confidence and success, and optimizing your bottom line through streamlined processes. We can provide leaders with the guidance, support, and expertise they need to effectively promote accountability within their organizations.
Contact us today to speak with a member of our expert team and learn how KF Strategies can help take your organization to the next level. Work with us today and schedule your free consultation now.