Don’t just promote accountability – build a culture where people pick up the trash.

Organizations have an accountability crisis, according to the Workplace Accountability Study. Leaders know that accountability is vital for success. However, they struggle to build a culture of ownership within their teams. 82% of respondents say they have limited to no ability to hold others accountable – they either try but fail or avoid it altogether.

Employees don’t have a good relationship with accountability either. Accountability systems fail to motivate them. Most people think that feedback occurs only when things go wrong. A study by Gallup found that only 14% of employees feel their performance is managed in a way that inspires them to take more responsibility.

When accountability is absent, people don’t take obligations seriously. Over one-third see due dates (or “by-whens”) as real commitments. A vast majority aren’t sure what their company is trying to achieve and one-third feel that priorities frequently change, creating confusion.

Accountability is difficult to achieve, yet attainable. One of the problems I observe in consulting organizations is that executives think they can impose a sense of responsibility on others. Instead, I advise them to focus on creating a culture of ownership – if you want people to feel responsible, let them own their work.

Read more here