The Culture of Accountability
Aspire Learning Space
Nov 21, 2022

Accountability is being held responsible for one’s actions and behaviors. In addition to actions
and behaviors, having a culture of accountability in the workplace includes being held
responsible for one’s ability to achieve goals or complete tasks. The word has negative
connotations, but it does not always have to be a negative thing. When used within a negative
perspective, it fosters a fearful environment where people avoid sharing their ideas due to a fear
of failure. When used in a positive manner that aims to encourage others, it will yield positive
results as people will be recognized for their work.

Benefits of Accountability

1.Giving credit to employees or praising them when they reach targets makes them more
likely to share their ideas and give their creative input.

2.There is less conflict because there workers don’t blame each other, they take
responsibility for their actions

3.This kind of environment will encourage workers to show up and participate

4.Improved performance and therefore increased confidence

What Does Accountability Look Like At Work?

1. Cancelling blame culture

A workplace with accountability focuses on what is wrong rather than who is wrong. Blame
culture on the other hand, is the complete opposite. A coworker that follows blame culture seeks
to point the finger somewhere else when problems arise, rather than seek to solve the issue or
understand how he/she played a role in the way things turned out.

2. Accepting constructive criticism

Part of being held accountable is accepting constructive criticism for our work. Receiving
criticism is not an attack, it gives you room to improve your work and become a better version of
yourself. Rather than responding with defensiveness, be open-minded enough to actually
consider the feedback of others.

3. Giving credit where it’s due

Holding someone accountable for their actions does not always have to be in a negative sense.
This can also exist when someone reaches a target or accomplishes a goal. A culture of
accountability can include recognizing other people’s work when they reach their goals, not just
when they make a mistake.

4.Learning from mistakes

This kind of culture is not just fostered from accepting criticism for mistakes, but also taking
appropriate action to either fix the mistake or learn from it to avoid repeating in the future.
Mistakes should not be seen as failure, but as an opportunity for growth and a stepping stone to
success. Ask yourself, “how could I have done things differently?why?”

5. Showing up

Showing up on time shows that you have a responsibility towards those around you and that you
honor their time. Not just on time, but on difficult days. Rather than withdrawing in challenging
times, it’s important to recognize the power and value that your input carries.

6. Thinking of solutions rather than magnifying problems

Rather than spending time thinking about what could have been done or where the other party
went wrong, brainstorm about possible solutions and ways to move forward.

Reflection Questions

  • Do you find it easier to blame others rather than see the role you played in the outcome?
  • How well do you handle criticism?
  • Do my actions at work lead to a culture of accountability or a culture of blame?

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