194: Build a Culture of Accountability

Accountability, when done right, isn’t about exerting power or authority. It’s not about enforcing punishments or negative consequences. Instead, it’s about making sure that everyone does what they commit to doing through shared responsibility for success. Managers who do this develop strong teams with strong performance. Those who don’t do this end up with extra pressure on themselves and disengaged employees who are underperforming or unhappy in their jobs – both of which are downright unhealthy for everyone.

Today’s episode is about how to create a culture of accountability. Accountability often feels hard, in part because it’s the thing we do when something goes wrong. Instead, you can make accountability ever-present on your team so that everyone holds themselves and each other accountable.

The full episode guide contains more detailed actions, questions for reflection, and worksheets to help you foster a culture of accountability with your team. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community or purchase the full guide at www.themodernmanager.com/shop.

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Read the related blog article: 5 Steps to Creating a Culture of Accountability

Key Takeaways:

  • Accountability at work is not an individual burden on the manager but about creating a culture of accountability that is shared by the team.
  • Without a culture of accountability, the best workers leave and performance suffers.
  • Articulate and model your team’s values and expected behaviors. Own your mistakes when you misstep to foster trust.
  • People take seriously what they feel responsible for. It’s essential to connect accountability to celebrating successes and to give credit when it’s due.
  • Teammates who care about each other and feel valued by their manager don’t want to let each other down. Shared accountability means they will push each other even when the boss isn’t around.
  • Explain why the expectations matter and how it impacts them, you, the team, and/or the organization’s success.
  • Create a safe space for your team to admit their mistakes. Encourage questions, provide support, and don’t blame when things go off track.
  • Have organic, real-time conversations and scheduled 1-on-1s to provide positive feedback and address concerns.

Additional Resources:


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