Accountability in the Workplace: 3 Mistakes in Getting People to be Accountable

Accountability in the Workplace: 3 Mistakes in Getting People to be Accountable

Accountability in the workplace is crucial to any organization's success.

Recently we surveyed our database of 6,000 leaders to ask:“What major concerns consistently show up in your management teams?” After brand reputation, accountability in the workplace was the highest-rated item. Getting others to be accountable, have employees STEP UP and take ownership for results is a crucial issue for companies.

Accountability in the workplace is all about stepping up.

In my book, Stepping Up, I show individuals how they can take personal accountability for their success and happiness in life, and how leaders can create a culture of ownership in the workplace.

Creating Accountability in the Workplace

Today I would like to share with you the three biggest mistakes leaders make in creating a culture of ownership. If you are aware of these mistakes and can avoid them and lead on purpose, you will be more likely to create an environment of accountability at your workplace.

  1. The first mistake is not having CLEAR, SHARED RESULTS.  Is it clear what individuals are accountable for? Are the results measurable or quantifiable so we can recognize if they have been achieved? Does the individual accountable for these results understand them and their importance? When we are clear and concise about our expectations are and who is accountable for what, we are much more likely to see results and see accountability in the workplace.
  1. The second mistake leaders make is not making the WHY part of the everyday dialogue. When people see WHY something matters they are much more likely to achieve the results desired and be accountable rather than have to be held accountable. We call it “Leading the WHY”. If possible, engage the team and have them identify why the results matter. Too often we gloss over the WHY and focus only on the WHAT and the HOW.
  1. The third mistake is OVERMANAGING activities. In recent years, there has been a popular leadership idea called “Results-Only Leadership.” The idea is simple, that once we agree on a shared result and it is clear, leaders should step back and allow employees to get to that result in their own way. People want to be accountable, not over managed. They want leaders to be available to them if needed, but not to be looking over their shoulder. We call this style of leading, “Tight-loose leadership.”


Keep on leading in work & life.


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.

More Posts

No Comments

Post A Comment

Looking for business advice or more information?
Book Dr. John Izzo