How Would It Feel To Find Out That A Team Of Leaders Could’ve Shared The Burden With You All This Time?
As a manager, founder, or leader of a company, you know by now that a culture of accountability is essential to maintain the highest level of quality and compliance with the deadlines and results committed to your clients.
But, did you know that a culture of accountability isn’t something that can be imposed on a team?
Did you know that accountability should thrive naturally in the organizational culture of your company?
Did you know that a team accountable for its results collaborates better?
In a 20+ year career, I have forged highly competitive teams and businesses in several countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. First as an employee of small and large corporations. Then as the founder of my agency, BSF.company. And more recently as a consultant and leadership advisor to managers and companies of all sizes.
During that time, I learned 4 things about accountability that I will share with you in this article:
- Accountability has to do with trust, not guilt.
- To create a culture of accountability, you must first understand what it means.
- The lack of a culture of accountability is a disadvantage for your company.
- Fostering a culture of accountability is key to improving the results of your team.
What Is The Culture Of Accountability In The Work Environment
To be successful, companies must invariably hold themselves accountable to their customers and the results committed.
In the same way, employees and collaborators should do so with their respective supervisors, managers, and boards of directors. The reality, however, is quite different, since there is not always a culture of owning the failures or bad results among the collaborators that make up the value chain of a company.
More frequently than CEOs and founders like to admit, the organizational culture in their companies lack the features needed to achieve sustainable success.
As an illustration of what I mean, watch Mr. Delaney’s team in the commercial below. Please, bear with video quality, considering that the ad was aired in 2008. Video capturing tech wasn’t as advanced as today’s.
Although at first, it may seem quite a difficult challenge, transforming the organizational culture of your company is attainable.
Not only that, it’s also a must if you expect your business to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive market.
Key Advantages Of Building A Culture Of Accountability With Your Team
Below, I list some advantages you can experience when you work with a team accountable for their results:
- There is trust between co-workers.
- Group problem-solving is encouraged.
- Mistakes are learning opportunities and not witch hunts.
- There is better organizational cohesion and results in general.
Are you willing to know how accountable your team is for its results?
I invite you to perform a quick diagnostic test:
At the next meeting, openly discuss one of the operational issues or frustrations you and your team have recently experienced. Do it without mentioning names. Stay quiet, and pay attention carefully to how your team react.
If you get questions with proposals, new ideas, or ways to do it better, then I commend you. Your company might already have a high sense of accountability built in its organizational culture.
At places where the above holds true, a typical day in the office looks like the following image.
If, on the other hand, you get silence, excuses, and explanations of how everything bad is actually due to external factors, then it’s of your interest to keep reading. The truth is, you might have a poor culture of accountability in your team. Surely, your business could be generating better results.
What Happens When Your Team Is Not Accountable For Its Results?
At some point in our careers, we all have experienced a work environment where there is no culture of accountability. It looks like the following image.
In a recent study from Partners in Leadership about accountability in the workplace, 82% of respondents said they have “limited or no” ability to hold others accountable for their results. Interestingly, a staggering 91% rated accountability as one of the most urgent priorities within their organization.
The lack of accountability in your organizational culture can have catastrophic consequences:
- Non-compliance with deadlines and commitments.
- Poor quality of the resulting product or service.
- Excessive operational costs.
- Widespread delays in the value chain, to name a few.
However, it can be solved, and the first thing you should check are the possible problems that may be causing this situation.
6 Challenges For The Culture Of Accountability In Your Company
According to Culture Partners, there are six key challenges that you must overcome if you want to implant a culture of accountability in your work team:
- Low team morale.
- Unclear priorities.
- Rare or no commitment.
- Ineffective execution.
- Low levels of trust.
- High staff turnover.
At first glance, the amount of work to overcome those challenges seem unsurmountable.
The good news is that in me, you have an ally with experience overcoming these challenges in practice, not only for the companies I have founded, but also for those of my clients.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have done it repeatedly in the second most competitive market of Latin America.
It is a rewarding experience to take dysfunctional teams, and transform them from the inside out to leave them looking like the following image.
That is why I have decided to compile the 6 tactics I frequently employ in my professional practice to overcome each of the 6 challenges listed in the previous lines.
It’s all in a white paper titled: 6 Tactics To Establish A Culture Of Accountability.
In the name of science, and as a request of my marketing automation team, you’ll be able to download that document free of charge for a limited time.
You’ll find detailed explanations of steps to follow, different strategies, and a great tool that I employ daily to seed and nurture accountability, trust, and commitment in the organizational culture of my teams.
The application of these solutions will help you to establish trust and accountability as core features of your organizational culture, which will inevitably lead to better results.
I hope it to be of help for you and your team.
Please let me know in the comments section below what you think about it, your questions, experiences, or how it went at the office.