A culture of accountability

Last week I had the absolute pleasure and privilege of facilitating a 3-day senior leadership program for one of Australia’s largest bike retailers.

If you have ever attended one of my programs, you will know I always get clear about expectations, boundaries, and outcomes at the very beginning.

Last week I used a technique called Complete this Sentence, (I do need to come up with a more interesting name) asking the group to finish the following statement:

Training works best when………..

As you can imagine there were a variety of answers written up on colourful sticky notes on a big piece of butcher’s paper. Responses like “when it is engaging, fun, interactive, relevant, and practical.”

Most of which I am sure you would agree are a pretty stock standard set of replies.

What struck me about this group however, was that their answers had a different tone, an attitude I often don’t always see, hear, and experience.

They had what I like to call an OWNERSHIP MENTALITY, an approach where individuals and team members take ownership of their work and feel responsible for the outcomes they produce.

Their responses echoed personal attitude, mindset, and an openness to learning and implementing individual change beyond the training room.

Which as you can imagine, was music to my ears, because attitudes that reflect ownership, contribution and responsibility are attitudes that get better results and greater performance.

Not to mention better engagement and team cohesion.

So how do you know if you have an ownership mentality? A culture of accountability in your workplace, in your team, your home or in your training group?

Here are some signs:

  • Clear expectations: A culture of accountability is built on a foundation of clear expectations. Individuals and teams are aware of what is expected of them and are held accountable for meeting those expectations.
  • Open communication: In a culture of accountability, there is open communication between team members and leaders. Feedback is encouraged, and conflicts are resolved openly and constructively.
  • Focus on results: Teams in a culture of accountability are results-oriented. They focus on achieving the desired outcome, and individual contributions are recognized and celebrated.
  • Consistency: A culture of accountability is consistent. Standards are upheld, and everyone is held to the same level of accountability.
  • Proactive problem-solving: In a culture of accountability, problems are addressed proactively, and individuals and teams work together to find solutions.
  • Ownership mentality: Individuals and teams in a culture of accountability have an ownership mentality. They take ownership of their work, and they feel responsible for the outcomes.
  • Trust and respect: In a culture of accountability, there is a high level of trust and respect between team members and leaders. Everyone is held to the same standard of accountability, and trust is built through consistent action and behaviour.

Building this kind of culture, takes time and effort, but the benefits are certainly worth it, especially when you see your people and your business thriving!