Employee Accountability in the Workplace: 100% Responsibility / No Excuses

Employee Accountability in the Workplace: 100% Responsibility / No Excuses

Accountability in the workplace is all about stepping up and taking responsibility.

As most of you know, for over fifteen years my colleagues and I have been teaching a simple concept we call 100/0, which means 100% responsibility/0% Excuses. Companies all over the world such as Qantas, Intact Insurance, Lockheed Martin, RBC, and Washington Gas are using the 100/0 to drive commitment with their people in order to drive employee accountability in the workplace.

But what does that mean? How do we know when we are stepping up and being 100/0 versus when we are stepping back towards 0/100? There are six critical differences between stepping up and stepping back.

Break down barriers and increase employee accountability in the workplace through the Stepping Up program.

In our Stepping Up program and talks, which we have conducted now in well over 100 companies, we use this 100/0 continuum to help each of us see what it means to be 100/0.

Increasing Employee Accountability in the Workplace

Here are six simple choices that we can make at every moment to truly step up:

Choice # 1  Be positive and optimistic vs. negative and pessimistic. This is a very good predictor of whether you will be admired at work and how you can increase employee accountability in the workplace.

Choice # 2  Be an initiator NOT a victim. That means always asking what you can do about something instead of sitting around and complaining about what others need to do. We know we are being a victim when we are saying “they should” instead of “I will.”

Choice # 3  Focus on what you CAN do instead of what you can’t do. As we like to say in our workshops—we  always have a list of things we can’t do or things we would do if we had more resources, more support, more time, and so on. 100/0 means always asking what you can do instead of saying you would do this if…

Choice # 4  To speak UP constructively, instead of staying silent. 100/0 means we speak up and bring our ideas and we raise issues in a constructive way instead of staying silent or speaking up in a complaining way.

Choice # 5 Listen in vs. tuning out. It means to seek and listen to feedback from others, to take 100% responsibility to listen and learn, instead of tuning out feedback, or focusing on being right instead of learning.

Choice #6  100/0 means to put the goal first and be collaborative rather than putting yourself first, meaning your function, your role, your part of the business. 100% responsibility is focusing on getting the goal accomplished by collaborating with others.

At each moment, I think most of us can tell where we are on that continuum. Are we being 100/0 or 0/100?

Now one thing you don’t want to do is be 50/50—sometimes stepping up, sometimes NOT.

If you are interested in using the 100/0 in your company or finding a way to integrate this kind of thinking please contact john@drjohnizzo.com. Meanwhile, I challenge you to put the continuum on your desk, and ask each moment, “am I being 100/0?”


Dr. John Izzo has spoken to over one million people, advised over 500 companies, authored nine best-selling books, and helped some of the world's most admired companies. He has been a pioneer in creating successful businesses and emerging work trends for over twenty-five years.

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