Work Culture

How to effectively increase Employee Accountability?

By on June 6, 2016

An ideal employee goes beyond his assigned tasks or activities. He takes initiatives to further increase his contribution. This determines his accountability for his actions.

Accountable employees own up to the responsibility of their actions. They ensure that there is an increase in the organisation’s performance. They help maintain a positive atmosphere & increase productivity.

Nowadays companies use various management philosophies like MBOs or OKRs to execute their strategies. While this does bring along a sense of clarity & purpose to all the employees, is this sufficient to ensure success in the long run?

As it turns out, Employee Accountability is as important if not more.

Few measures to imbibe accountability in your team members:

Identify slackers & address their concerns

Slackers are the ones who refuse to be accountable for their work. We all have seen them at work. Their performance is below expectations & they always seem to have excuses for under-performing. It is a must to identify and address the reasons for their consistent poor performance. While the reasons could range from valid ones like not recognised for their work or poor working conditions to things that are just figments of their imagination. It is the responsibility of their manager to listen to them and address these concerns.

This will take away all their excuses for not being accountable.

Inculcate a sense of Ownership

Managers need to delegate authority to their subordinates. Individual contributors should be able to take decisions on their own. They will feel empowered and motivated to perform when they have a sense of ownership. It makes them take initiatives and deliver as promised. They understand that only they are accountable to ensure success.

Make it a 2 way – Communication

There should be a clear understanding about the objectives that a particular task is going to achieve. Manager should be able to communicate the need and importance of the task to the employees. It is vital that employees know how their efforts are going to contribute to the overall company’s growth.

It is not only about setting expectations but also guiding employees to achieve those.  When managers turn coaches, performance of a team truly blossoms.

This helps employees understand the implications of their actions, & they tend to go that extra mile to fulfil their obligations. They become accountable.

Give regular feedback

Feedback is the breakfast of champions. It should be given on a regular basis. Be it weekly, quarterly, annually or even when certain tasks are completed. This helps employees realign their target, in case there has been any deviation. Instead of dictating a solution, the manager can ask for their opinion. This showcases the manager’s supportive role and encourages the employees to be more accountable towards their responsibilities.

Recognise and reward every achievement

Recognition and Rewards -2 most important factors for an accountable employee. They like to be recognised for investing their time and efforts.  They strive to make it a habit to succeed every time they undertake any task. They like being rewarded. When other employees see this, they too can develop this habit. In the end, it is the organisation that will reap the benefits of a motivated environment.

Employee Accountability won’t happen overnight. But with steady measures, it can be imbibed in the work culture.


Employees can be pressurised to work harder or made accountable to increase their contribution. The former approach will only succeed in breaking the employee. They may leave the organisation for better opportunities and a place where they like to work.

It is the latter approach that should be encouraged. It will make sure that employees take initiative and seek ideas for innovation. When realistic goals are set, they are sure to accomplish them.

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