The Ultimate No BS Guide to Employee Accountability

By November 2, 2017 March 24th, 2024 Business Execution

Last Updated on March 24, 2024 by Dave Schoenbeck

Garnering employee accountability can feel like searching for unicorns in an enchanted forest.

More specifically, getting your team to take responsibility for themselves, their actions, and their work can be challenging. When you’re not successful, it can be downright disappointing.

As a small business owner or corporation leader, you likely know firsthand it’s possible to achieve incredible results when a team is inspired and accountable.

A timid leader hides behind his desk depicting avoiding employee accountability

Here are some ideas on how to successfully incite employee accountability within your organization?

Moving Past the Victim Mentality

In their book, The Oz Principle: Getting Results through Individual and Organizational Accountability, authors Roger Connors, Tom Smith, and Craig Hickman argue that just like the characters discover in the classic, The Wizard of Oz, we all have it within ourselves to achieve greatness; we don’t need someone else to give us the tools to get the results we desire.

It’s easy to get sucked into a victim mentality: We ignore or deny problems. We decide something “isn’t my job” and leave it unattended. We point fingers at others or claim confusion when we don’t complete a task as asked. Perhaps worst of all, we play the “wait and see” game, and if things go south, we do our best to cover our tails.

Instead of hanging around the “victim camp,” hike past it. Establishing employee accountability begins with laying down clear expectations and defining acceptable results. It requires engaging everyone involved and persisting even when things get tough.

Think differently and don’t be afraid to use innovation to create new solutions. Take the initiative and encourage your teammates to do the same. Just because something isn’t “your job” doesn’t mean you can’t attend to it under certain circumstances. Above all, stay conscious of what you’re doing and how other variables could lead to even more wins for the team.

Above the Line / Below the Line

I use a chart in my coaching practice that’s inspired by this book to help business owners and leaders see how to motivate employee accountability. It’s called “Above the Line/Below the Line.”








Here’s a big idea: We all need to focus on staying “above the line” as business people. Unfortunately, during a tough day or week, we slip. Our goal must be to build our mental muscle tone so that we can pull ourselves back up over the line to be victors instead of victims.

As you implement this mentality into your daily and weekly routine, your team will take notice. Lead by example and help the people around you make progress through their realizations and strengths. Everyone should strive to remain “above the line.”

Ultimately, it’s up to you to foster employee accountability within your organization. As an active leader, your example speaks volumes to those around you, and your actions will pave the way for transformation.

If you’ve not read it, I highly recommend checking out The Oz Principle: Getting Results through Individual and Organizational Accountability. You’ll learn more about how to successfully drive your team to greatness.

Personal accountability is critical to all business success. If you want to know more about ensuring a higher level of accountability, please fill out my contact form for a complimentary coaching session.

Coach Dave

Dave Schoenbeck
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