5 Strategies to Create a Culture of Accountability

These 5 Simple Steps Will Significantly Better Your Business


Is There An Accountability Gap?

Accountability is a topic covered in basic management courses. Unfortunately, there seems to be a burgeoning gap between theory and practice when it comes to this concept. Recent surveys suggest 40 percent of employees in US organizations are not held accountable for results. This is a dismal statistic, especially considering accountability issues can negatively impact employee morale.

There are five strategies organizations can use to ensure accountability is instilled as a core element of company culture.

5. Talk is Cheap, So Take Action!

Companies often talk issues to death. There is a huge focus on critical problems, but no solid agreement on corrective actions and no direct line of accountability. Talk is great, but it doesn’t accomplish anything if the following doesn’t occur:

  • Corrective actions must be determined and agreed upon
  • Responsibility parties must be informed and held accountable for actions taken
  • Turn Strategy into Specific Objectives
  • In order to ensure success there must be clear and specific objectives included in any plan of action.

In order to do this it is necessary to:

  • Clarify priorities
  • Create specific department goals.

Having clear department goals will enable employees to develop individual goals. This will enhance accountability and lead to successful implementation of any plans of action.

4. Make a Plan of Action

In order for plans of action to be successful, everyone must be on the same page. Coordination of activities increases efficiency and ensures successful execution of any plan. Coordinating plans of action leads to:

  • An improved collective focus on company goals
  • Successful execution of plans

3. Monitor Progress

Monitoring activity and the progress towards objectives is an essential ingredient in creating a culture of accountability. Successful leaders:

  • Monitor goals
  • Reinforce appropriate actions & behaviors

2. Communicate Effectively

Maintaining an open and ongoing dialogue between leadership and subordinates is crucial in ensuring appropriate communication is occurring on all levels. In order to be successful communicators, management must consider these two factors:

  • Goal setting & coaching are key elements in inspiring optimum performance
  • Performance management is a tool to drive desirable results

Managers who keep this in mind ensure that they are creating a culture of accountability.

1. Create Consistent Objectives

Management can’t expect for employees to trust and follow them if they can’t:

  • Support the same values & priorities they require from others
  • Model appropriate behavior
  • Take swift & appropriate action when expectations aren’t met.

Creating a culture of accountability isn’t easy. It takes time to implement and it involves hard work to maintain. However, a culture of accountability is one of the best ways to ensure success in business and boost employee morale.


After you’ve successfully examined your culture of accountability, it might be time to address compensation.

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