Building a Culture of Accountability

By: Amanda Young

What is Accountability?

Accountability means standing by one’s decisions, actions and well-being of projects.  Accountability is also considered a management process that makes certain that employees, along with managers, remain responsible and meet their expectations in the workplace.  Building a culture of accountability in the workplace allows companies to achieve positive company culture, vision, and ethics. 

The Importance of Accountability in the Workplace

Accountability starts with leadership. It is not possible to instill a culture of accountability without accountable leaders who hold themselves accountable at all costs. But this is easier in theory than it is in practice! Accountability is difficult. Accountable leaders take responsibility immediately for problems, shortcomings, missed goals and breaches in communications within organizations they lead – knowing that ultimately all results circle back to them.

An accountable culture is best self-enforced, meaning team members and employees care enough about the work their doing that they are the first to step up and take responsibility for when things do not go as planned. And also when objectives are met with raving success.

There are a few ways to create a culture of accountability in the workplace: have a conversation with employees when behavior is not meeting expectations, address any poor performance as soon as you can, set SMART goals, and always remember to follow up after a meeting regarding accountability concerns.

There could be a variety of reasons why an employee was performing inadequately.  It could be because their leader did not give clear instructions, maybe the employee needs more training, or even the employee can be experiencing personal issues outside of the workplace.  When confronting an employee it is important to keep these possibilities in mind.


To also assist with creating a culture of liability in the workplace, create SMART goals when giving tasks to employees. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.  When giving out assignments make sure that they are detailed, being assigned to the right individual, can be achieved, and in the end you can measure the success of the project.


Inspire Team Members to be Accountable