Accountability is an essential part of running a business, not something to be feared

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Taking accountability can seem daunting but is widely considered the moral thing to do, and the same is true within workplaces. To be able to create a workplace where people feel comfortable and willing to take accountability, both good and bad, it is important that businesses foster a healthy and safe environment.

There needs to be a culture where people don’t fear taking accountability, and instead view it as a positive thing to do. In turn, you create a stronger team spirit which powers the businesses forwards and to success.

When I look back at my own career, there have been many occasions where I’ve seen people step up and take accountability, and almost every time, there has been a positive outcome. Whether that was the individual having the confidence to own their responsibilities and demonstrating great leadership, or perhaps sharing important information that is needed to turn a potentially negative situation into a positive one. Once that leap had been made by that individual to take accountability the situation became much easier for all parties involved.

Whenever I have made the decision to take accountability, any stress or tensions associated with the situation usually disappear, as most of the time the fear of what might or could happen is far bigger than the reality.

There’s no doubt that there are many people that have a mental block or hurdle to overcome when it comes to taking accountability, and that’s understandable, it’s human nature. What we need to do as leaders, is look at how we can make people feel as comfortable as possible when it comes to taking this leap.

As an employer it is my responsibility to ensure my staff feel at ease when it comes to being accountable and knowing that they’re not going to receive any toxic feedback for being honest. Ultimately, the best way to demonstrate this to employees is by allowing them to see this with their own eyes much like I did myself. Once a culture of positive accountability has been created, the entire culture of an organisation becomes much more enjoyable leading to much happier employees and a much more successful business which communicates effectively.

Mentoring is an incredibly important tool when it comes to self-growth and development, two skills that are essential when taking accountability. Having somebody there to speak to and fall back on when things feel as though they’re building up or you’re unsure on what the next steps are, allows you to take the pressure off yourself and in turn feel more at ease to do the take the next steps, without overthinking them. Most of the time it’s our minds that amplify a situation into being worse than it is, and so the more comfortable we become at seeing the end goal for ourselves, the more often we’re willing to take that leap.

The benefits of taking accountability are massive for companies, having staff that feel confident in doing so must be a matter of priority for any organisation. This is why mentoring should be considered a crucial part of every onboarding in any business, to provide the extra sounding board and a comfortable place for employees to open up.

Sometimes we can underestimate just how daunting it can be going into a new environment with new people, whether it’s your first job or you’ve already had an experienced career. The most important thing is the culture that they’re going to enter; from that very first day they need to feel that their wellbeing is going to be looked after and considered throughout their time as an employee at your organisation.

Reflecting on my own career journey, and my own journey with accountability, I feel that the strongest piece of inspiration I received was witnessing the positive impacts of taking accountability first hand. Ultimately, businesses need people to accountable, otherwise the culture collapses along with productivity. Important information can be missed, and this can impact on all aspects of the company. Prioritising an open culture of accountability is in turn prioritising the business.