How to Manage Accountability

Posted by HRDQ on 11/01/2018 to Accountability

Accountability is necessary in a successful workplace

All team members should be accountable for their actions and tasks at all times. But managing accountability on a team can be difficult. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to become a better leader in accountability.

Be an example. Hold yourself to a standard of accountability so that others mirror you. If you set the tone for accountability in your workplace, others will follow.

Hold others to it. Hold others to a high standard as well. Show them how important it is to be accountable.

Set clear rules. Make sure everyone on the team know what they are responsible and accountable for. Delegate roles and rules for each team member. Employees who know their duties and their significance are more likely to perform better.

Create an accountable environment. The more that people are held to a standard, the more they will try to meet it. Ensuring the workplace is accountable will benefit the organization.

Address issues. There may be team members who don’t want to be accountable for their work, or they choose to blame others. In these situations, managers need to address the problem and make sure it improves.

The Accountability Cycle

There is a cycle of accountability that teams should be aware of:

  • Responsibility is a before-the-fact mindset of personal ownership and commitment to a result.
  • Self-empowerment is taking personal action and risk to ensure an agreed-on result.
  • Accountability is a personal willingness, after-the-fact, to answer for outcomes produced.
  • A clear agreement includes six items: owner, task, outcome/deliverable, actions, deadlines, and stakes (benefits/consequences).

For more help with managing accountability, check out HRDQ’s “The Accountability Experience.” This tool creates organizations where there is clarity about what's expected to happen, how, and when. Managers and supervisors will learn to encourage employee accountability at all levels, leading to increased engagement and a decrease in the gap between expectation and delivery. Learn more here:

On Dec. 5 HRDQ is hosting a webinar that will help managers with accountability. In the webinar attendees will learn how to recognize and measure accountability, manage accountability more effectively and evaluate how well your supervisors, managers, teams and organization are performing in this area. Visit to register.