4 Drawbacks of Lack of Accountability at Work and Ways to Overcome them

4 Drawbacks of Lack of Accountability at Work and Ways to Overcome them

Ever feel like you’re carrying the weight of the team on your shoulders? You delegate tasks, set deadlines, yet some things just fall through the cracks. The culprit? A lack of accountability. This isn’t just a minor annoyance – it’s a productivity sinkhole that can drain morale, miss deadlines, and leave you feeling burnt out. But fear not, weary manager! This blog is your guide to conquering the accountability gap. We’ll explore the root causes of why employees might shirk responsibility, and equip you with 5 powerful strategies to cultivate a culture of accountability and transparency. Get ready to empower your team, boost productivity, and finally ditch the feeling of being the sole pillar holding everything up. Let’s dive in!

Understanding Lack of Accountability in the Workplace

Creating a culture of accountability at work can motivate employees to take ownership and responsibility for their work. On the other hand, lack of accountability in the workplace can hinder overall productivity which can be frustrating or managers. Therefore, it is essential to understand its root causes and signs in order to take steps to enhance accountability.

What is a Lack of Accountability?

Lack of accountability is a common problem in many workplaces and can adversely affect productivity, morale, and employee retention. It occurs when employees fail to take responsibility for their actions or do not follow through on commitments. Managers must understand that lack of accountability is not just an individual issue, but also a cultural one. To address this problem, managers can set clear expectations, provide regular feedback, and hold employees accountable for their performance. Creating a culture of accountability where everyone is responsible for their actions and decisions is also crucial. Effective communication and collaboration can further promote accountability in the workplace. By implementing these strategies, managers can improve team accountability and create a more productive and positive work environment.

Signs of Lack of Accountability in the Workplace

Lack of accountability in the workplace can have serious negative consequences, including decreased productivity, low morale, and a toxic work environment. Examples of lack of accountability include blaming others for mistakes, not following through on commitments, and avoiding responsibility. Some examples of lack of accountability in the workplace include:
  • A team member repeatedly misses deadlines or fails to deliver on promised work, yet there are no consequences for their behavior.
  • Managers fail to take responsibility for their mistakes or poor performance and instead blame their subordinates or external factors.
  • Employees routinely engage in office gossip or spread rumors, and no one is held accountable for their actions.
  • A team member consistently arrives late to meetings or fails to show up without notice, disrupting team productivity.
  • A department fails to achieve its goals, but no one takes responsibility or is held accountable for the outcome.
  • A colleague takes credit for someone else’s work, and no one confronts them or addresses the issue.
  • An employee engages in unethical behavior, such as lying, cheating, or stealing, and no action is taken to hold them accountable for their actions.
  • A team member fails to follow established procedures or guidelines, leading to mistakes, delays, or other problems, yet there are no repercussions for their behavior.
  • A manager fails to provide adequate training or support to their team members, resulting in poor performance or subpar results, yet no one holds them accountable for their leadership.

Causes of Lack of Accountability

Managers’ lack of accountability in the workplace can be a common issue. It can stem from various factors such as unclear expectations, poor communication, lack of consequences, and fear of failure or reprisals. Therefore, managers must effectively address the root cause of the lack of accountability. Some common reasons why you might be facing a lack of accountability at work are:
  • Poor Communication: When communication is poor or inconsistent, it can lead to misunderstandings, missed deadlines, and incomplete work. Without clear expectations and feedback, team members may not understand what is expected of them, leading to a lack of accountability.
  • Fear of Conflict: Many people are uncomfortable with conflict and will avoid confrontation at all costs, even when holding others accountable is necessary. It can lead to a culture of avoidance, where people hesitate to call out others’ mistakes or poor performance.
  • Lack of Consequences: When there are no consequences for poor performance or missed deadlines, it can lead to a lack of accountability. If team members know they won’t face any repercussions, they may not feel motivated to perform at their best.
  • Poor Leadership: A lack of accountability can also stem from poor leadership. When managers or leaders fail to set clear expectations, provide adequate training or support, or lead by example, it can create a culture of low accountability. Additionally, when leaders themselves are not held accountable, it can send a message to team members that accountability is not valued or expected.
  • Silo Mentality: When departments or teams operate in silos, it can lead to a lack of accountability. Without collaboration or communication across departments, team members may feel less responsible for contributing to the larger organization’s goals. It can create an environment where people are more concerned with their work than how it fits into the bigger picture.

What are the Consequences of Lack of Accountability?

  • Reduced productivity: A lack of accountability in the workplace culture hampers team performance. As individual team members are not held responsible for tasks, there are frequent delays and missed deadlines. Overall, such attitude from some team members can create a culture lacking accountability, leading to long-term issues that inhibit the team’s growth prospects.
  • Falling performance standards: When accountability is out of the equation in a workplace setting, team members are less likely to put in their best efforts, as even bare minimum work can get them through. As a result, the overall quality of the output generated by the team suffers. It can further impact their reputation and credibility. 
  • Unhealthy team dynamics: A lack of accountability in the workplace worsens the team dynamics and ensures collaboration is very hard. When some team members shed every responsibility and continue to remain unimpacted, it puts an uneven burden on the rest of the team, as others are constantly handling the extra workload and the associated blame game as well. 
  • Decreased trust and morale: The lack of accountability in the workplace hurts the trust between team managers and members. If the unaccountable behavior stems from the manager, it further causes issues and sets harmful precedents in the team. As a result, when team members are bogged down by constant pressure in an unhealthy environment, their enthusiasm at work falls. 

How to Deal with Lack of Accountability in the Workplace?

As a manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure everyone on the team is accountable for their actions. Here are five tips to help you deal with a lack of accountability in the workplace: Firstly, the expectations must be clearly communicated to employees and restated regularly. Secondly, hold individuals accountable for their actions and follow through on consequences. Encourage a culture of transparency and open communication among team members so they can take responsibility for their actions without fear of judgment or retaliation. Provide regular feedback and coaching sessions to help employees improve their skills as well as performance. Lastly, lead by setting an example and holding yourself accountable for your actions as a manager. By following these steps, you can create an environment where accountability is valued and expected from every team member.

Set Clear Expectations and Goals

One of the critical ways for managers to deal with a lack of accountability in the workplace is to set clear expectations and goals. Managers can establish a culture of accountability by clearly communicating what is expected of team members. This means that employees understand what they need to do and are likelier to take ownership of their work and responsibilities. Managers should regularly check in with their employees to identify gaps in accountability and address them promptly. Rewarding accountability can also be an effective way to encourage employees to take ownership of their work. For example, recognizing employees who consistently demonstrate accountability can help to reinforce positive behavior.

Provide Continuous Feedback and Coaching

An effective way for managers to address the lack of accountability in the workplace is by providing continuous feedback and coaching to their employees. It can help employees understand the importance of being accountable and give them the tools they need to improve their performance. In addition to coaching, managers should clearly communicate expectations and hold employees responsible for their actions. Consequences for lack of accountability, such as performance evaluations or job reassignments, should also be established. Creating a transparency and open communication culture can also encourage workplace accountability. However, managers must lead by example and hold themselves accountable for their actions. By demonstrating accountability in their work, managers can set a positive example for their team and foster a culture of responsibility throughout the organization.

Hold Employees Accountable for Their Actions

As a manager, it’s important to deal with a lack of accountability in the workplace proactively. One essential tip is to hold employees accountable for their actions. It involves setting clear expectations and communicating them effectively to your team. You should also establish consequences for not meeting those expectations and ensure employees are held responsible for their actions. Ultimately, creating a workplace accountability culture can lead to increased productivity and success.

Recognize and Reward Accountable Behavior

Another valuable tip is to recognize and reward responsible behavior when dealing with a lack of accountability in the workplace. It helps to foster a culture of responsibility and ownership within the workplace. Managers can help employees improve their accountability skills by providing constructive feedback and coaching. Ultimately, by taking these steps, managers can help to reduce missed deadlines, improve morale, and increase productivity in the workplace. Employee recognition can be tricky, here’s how to get it right in a hybrid workplace: Employee Recognition In A Hybrid Workplace

Foster a Culture of Accountability and Transparency

One of the most effective ways for managers to deal with a lack of accountability in the workplace is to foster a culture of accountability and transparency. It involves several key steps, including clearly communicating expectations and consequences for lack of accountability, leading by example and holding oneself accountable, providing regular feedback, coaching, and training to employees, and promoting transparency in communication and decision-making. By emphasizing these principles within the workplace, managers can help promote a sense of ownership among employees while ensuring everyone understands their responsibilities. Over time, this can lead to increased productivity and morale as well as a stronger sense of teamwork and collaboration. But ultimately, it’s up to managers to set the tone for accountability within their teams and create a positive workplace environment that encourages responsibility and integrity at all levels.

Become a Proactive Manager

Fighting can be pretty tricky once the menace of unaccountability has set its foot in a team. But being a proactive manager who takes challenges head-on and allows detours from conventional methods can be a solid approach.
The essential lies in helping team members visualize the big picture. Remind them their role is not just about the pending task on their list. Instead, their contribution adds to making the vision of the company real. In addition creating a system of checks and balances that can include a mix of performance reviews, one-on-one meetings, and feedback sessions can help. When team members feel their efforts are seen, they are more willing to contribute.


Cultivating a culture of accountability isn’t about micromanaging or finger-pointing. It’s about empowering your team to take ownership, celebrate successes, and learn from setbacks together. Imagine a team where everyone feels supported, valued, and responsible for achieving shared goals. That’s the magic that happens when accountability takes root. So, take the first step today! Implement the tips outlined in this blog, foster open communication, and watch your team transform into a high-performing unit. Remember, a culture of accountability is a journey, not a destination. But with dedication and these strategies as your guide, you’ll be well on your way to building a dream team that thrives on ownership, transparency, and success. Now go forth and lead with purpose!

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15 Examples of Accountability in the Workplace to Improve Ownership in Teams

15 Examples of Accountability in the Workplace to Improve Ownership in Teams

You must have worked with or heard of someone who often blames other team members for their inability to deliver work on time. You must be frustrated and tired of colleagues who blame others for their mistakes and lack accountability for their work. Accountability is critical for a successful running of a team and an organization.
This blog will help you deal better with these types of colleagues. We will explore various examples of accountability in the workplace and how they can contribute to a positive and successful work environment. From meeting deadlines to taking ownership of mistakes, we will examine the different ways that accountability can manifest in the workplace and the benefits that it can bring.

What is accountability in the workplace?

Accountability in the workplace means taking responsibility for your actions and decisions. It involves being transparent about mistakes, owning them, and learning from them. Accountable individuals prioritize problem-solving and finding solutions to challenges instead of blaming others. Leaders must model accountability to create a culture of ownership in the workplace. Accountability fosters trust, collaboration, and a sense of shared responsibility among team members. It encourages individuals to work together towards common goals and take pride in their work. When everyone on a team is accountable, it increases productivity and success. In today’s fast-paced business environment, accountability is essential for creating a culture that values honesty, integrity, and excellence.

15 Examples of Accountability in the Workplace

Accountability in the workplace is vital to the success of any organization. Several examples of accountability in the workplace include taking responsibility for mistakes and learning from them. Being proactive and taking the initiative to solve problems is another example that inspires others to do their best work.
  • Meeting deadlines: You should be accountable for completing your task on time and meeting the set deadlines by the manager.  For example, As a project manager, consistently delivering project milestones on time ensures the team can maintain project schedules and client expectations.
  • Taking ownership: You should take responsibility for your actions and decisions and be accountable for your work’s outcomes. If you don’t get the desired result, take ownership of your actions and ensure how you will tackle the situation further. This will build trust within your team. For example, If a marketing campaign doesn’t yield the expected results, a marketing manager should take ownership by analyzing what went wrong and devising a new strategy for improvement.
  • Communicating effectively: Communication skills are highly valued everywhere. Communicate your ideas and instructions so that others can understand you. You should express your concerns if you are stuck or need clarification. For example, A software developer communicates technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders, ensuring everyone understands the project’s progress and potential roadblocks.
  • Admitting mistakes: You should take responsibility for your mistakes and work to correct them instead of blaming others or making excuses and creating a toxic environment around you. For example, If a salesperson inadvertently provides incorrect product information to a client, they should promptly admit the mistake and work to rectify it, maintaining trust with the client.
  • Following policies and procedures: Understand the workplace policies thoroughly and follow them. You are accountable to work as per the set procedures; this shows you value and respect the management creating a healthy workplace environment. For example, An HR manager adheres to company policies and ensures recruitment processes comply with all relevant regulations.
  • Being reliable: Show up to work on time and ready, and consistently perform your duty to the best of your ability. Stand firm in challenging situations with your team; become a valuable and reliable asset to the company. For example,  A manager consistently arrives on time for shifts, assisting and maintaining the team’s trust.
  • Delivering results: You are accountable for achieving the goals set by the organization and delivering results that meet or exceed expectations. For example, A sales manager consistently meets or exceeds monthly sales targets, contributing to revenue growth.
  • Providing feedback: You are accountable for providing constructive feedback to your colleagues and managers to help improve performance and work culture to achieve goals. For example, A team lead offers constructive feedback to a colleague about their presentation, helping them enhance their public speaking skills.
  • Seeking help when needed: When you are stuck or need clarification, take accountability for asking for help from your peers or the management. Listen to their advice, and don’t shy away from the chance to expand your knowledge and learn new things. For example, An IT specialist seeks guidance from the IT department when faced with a complex technical issue to ensure quick problem resolution.
  • Maintaining a positive attitude: You are accountable for your attitude and behavior in the workplace. Therefore, you should strive to maintain a positive and respectful environment for yourself and your colleagues.
  • Accepting responsibility for mistakes: When someone makes an error, they promptly acknowledge it, take ownership of the situation, and work to rectify the mistake. For example, An office manager sets a positive tone in the workplace, fostering a collaborative and pleasant work environment.
  • Seeking feedback and acting on it: Employees actively seek feedback to improve their performance and take ownership of implementing the suggested changes. For example,  An employee actively seeks feedback from their manager and colleagues after a presentation. They take ownership of the feedback, make necessary improvements to their presentation style, and deliver a more impactful presentation the next time.
  • Taking initiative: Employees proactively identify opportunities for improvement and take ownership of proposing and implementing solutions. For example, A team member identifies a bottleneck in the project workflow and proactively proposes a more efficient process. They take ownership of implementing the new process, resulting in time and resource savings for the team.
  • Transparent decision-making: Leaders make decisions transparently and take ownership of explaining the rationale behind their choices. For example,  manager shares the decision-making process behind a significant project pivot with the team. They take ownership of explaining why the change was necessary and how it aligns with the company’s goals, fostering transparency and understanding among team members.
  • Learning from failures: When faced with setbacks, employees take ownership of learning from the experience, so they can improve and avoid repeating the same mistakes. For example, A software development team encounters a critical bug in their latest release, causing delays and customer dissatisfaction. The team takes ownership of analyzing the root causes of the issue, learning from their mistakes, and implementing stricter testing procedures to prevent similar failures in the future.
These are just a few examples of accountability in the workplace. Employees can contribute to a more productive, positive, and thriving workplace by owning their work and actions.

Benefits of Accountability in the Workplace

Accountability in the workplace is a crucial ingredient for success. It creates a culture of trust and transparency among employees, which leads to better collaboration and communication. Employees who take ownership of their work feel more motivated to achieve their goals and perform at their best. They also become more invested in the team’s success and feel responsible for achieving company objectives. Some key benefits of accountability in the workplace include the following:
  • Increased productivity: When you take accountability for your work, you are likelier to complete tasks on time with greater efficiency, resulting in increased productivity for the organization.
  • Better teamwork: Accountability fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility among employees, which can lead to better collaboration and teamwork. When team members know they can rely on each other to follow through on commitments, it creates a more positive and productive work environment.
  • Improved communication: To be accountable, you must communicate clearly and provide feedback; this would help you improve your communication skills and foster better working relationships with your colleagues.
  • Greater job satisfaction: When you are accountable for your work, you have a sense of pride in your accomplishments and have job satisfaction. Also, organizations practicing accountability have better employee retention rates and a stable workforce.
  • Higher quality work: When held accountable, employees are more likely to take greater care and attention to detail, resulting in higher quality work.
  • Increased innovation: When you are accountable for your work, you are more likely to take risks and try new approaches, leading to improved organizational innovation and creativity.
Overall, accountability in the workplace can lead to a more productive, collaborative, and satisfying work environment, benefiting both employees and the organization.

How to foster a culture of accountability in the workplace?

Fostering a culture of accountability in the workplace is essential for creating a productive and positive work environment. Setting clear expectations and goals for employees helps to establish a baseline for success. In addition, encouraging open communication and transparency among team members creates an atmosphere of trust where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. Empowering employees to make decisions fosters a sense of personal responsibility, giving them the confidence to take ownership of their work. In addition, providing regular performance feedback and recognizing successes reinforces good behavior and helps employees understand where to improve. Holding employees accountable for their actions is critical in maintaining a culture of accountability. This means following through on consequences for poor performance or behavior, which conveys that everyone is responsible for their actions. Creating such an environment will improve employee morale, teamwork, and higher productivity. Read more: 5 Tips for Managers to Deal with Lack of Accountability in the Workplace

6 Ways to Increase Accountability in the Workplace

  • Clear Expectations and Goals: Set clear expectations and well-defined goals for each employee or team. Ensure they understand their expectations and how their work aligns with the organization’s objectives.
  • Regular Communication: Maintain open and regular communication with your team members. Check-in on their progress, offer feedback, and address any concerns. Effective communication helps prevent misunderstandings and keeps everyone on the same page.
  • Performance Metrics: Implement key performance indicators (KPIs) and performance metrics to measure progress and results. Having quantifiable data allows employees to see how their work contributes to the organization’s success.
  • Empowerment: Give your team the autonomy and responsibility to make decisions within their roles. When employees feel empowered, they are more likely to take ownership of their work and be accountable for their actions.
  • Recognition and Rewards: Recognize and reward employees for their achievements and accountability. Positive reinforcement, such as praise or incentives, encourages responsible behavior and motivates employees to meet their commitments.
  • Accountability Culture: Foster a culture of accountability by leading by example. When managers and leaders demonstrate accountability in their actions and decisions, it sets the tone for the entire organization. Encourage team members to hold each other accountable as well.


Accountability in the workplace is crucial for success. It leads to improved work relationships, better teamwork, enhanced performance, increased profitability, and improved productivity. You can foster a culture of accountability by acknowledging mistakes, bringing solutions to problems, following policies and procedures, and being receptive to learning and feedback. Celebrating and rewarding accountability will boost job satisfaction and encourage individuals to exceed goals. To learn more about creating a healthy workplace, sign up for Risely now.

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Examples of Accountability at Work FAQs

What are some examples of accountability in the workplace?

Providing regular progress updates, taking ownership of mistakes, following through on commitments, seeking feedback, and holding oneself and others responsible for meeting goals and standards.

What is a good example of accountable?

An excellent example of accountable behavior would be admitting to a mistake, taking responsibility for fixing it, and implementing measures to prevent similar mistakes in the future.

How is accountability shown in a workplace?

You can show accountability in a workplace through clear communication, transparent decision-making, timely completion of tasks, adherence to policies and procedures, and willingness to accept and learn from feedback.

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8 Team Behaviors That Good Managers Love

8 Team Behaviors That Good Managers Love

In the words of Henry Ford, coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is a success. Efficient teamwork is a recipe for delightful success. A good team is made of committed members who are willing to give their best for the best of the team. A team manager is the pivot point for any team. A manager can take many steps for better team management. Firstly, they can adopt qualities to become better managers. Then, they can improve the team’s performance by promoting team behaviors that bring excellent results while dissuading others. On the other hand, members work for better team cohesion too! Here are some common team behaviors that managers look for in their teams. As a team member, this is the cheat sheet that you need to swear by.

Top 8 behaviors managers want in team members


Never turn your back! Unless you have a teammate watching over you. You can be put in a vulnerable position at many points as a team member. A good team member will ensure they are safe and secure in such a situation. Being able to be vulnerable around your team is a huge sign of trust, which is essential for seamless and supportive collaboration. A good team is composed of people who support each other in weak moments. They help in making a quick and robust recovery to their earlier position. Mutual trust is what allows all this to happen. Teamwork suffers without belief in a relationship. Hence, a manager should attempt to build trust in their team.


A manager likes to have team members who take responsibility. A member that takes responsibility demonstrates their confidence and puts themselves forward as reliable. Consequently, responsible behavior of team members ensures the manager of their commitment and ability to deliver. Consistently responsible behavior pitches you as a dependable member. They do not have to check you regularly, and you make work easier for the managers. Responsible team members are thus a gem for managers, and you should always strive to be one. Such accountable behavior sets you apart from the rest as a person willing to accept responsibilities and obligations for their actions. Your manager can trust you to achieve deadlines and fulfill your duties. Additionally, accountability in team members helps build trust and allows a smooth workflow. In order to accomplish this, managers can take some steps to build personal accountability in their team.


Commitment to the team’s goals is a basic expectation that any manager will have from you. Therefore, commitment towards the goals is vital for every member to make the best efforts towards success. You can show your commitment to your manager by working hard and smart constantly. Your commitment shows that you give importance to the goals and activities of the team. For instance, actively participating in discussions and bringing new ideas to the table shows your commitment to the team’s success.

Going above and beyond

Managers would love to have employees who do not remain limited to what their job description states. A great team member will take chances and accept the consequences; doing just the bare minimum is not to their taste. Instead, employees who go above and beyond their role’s responsibilities win appreciation from their managers. This means that as a dedicated team member, you should engage with all the aspects of the project your team is dealing with. Rather than simply keeping yourself to your defined role, you can take the initiative to understand the other facets. Additionally, you can contribute to it through your extra expertise and new ideas for improvement.


Teams are not just for talk, are they? At the end of the day, teams are looking for tangible achievements. Managers appreciate members who give them results that are essential for the organization’s success. Your commitment and accountability towards the goals are established when you are seen delivering results. You can also show support by helping others in achieving their goals.


While working in teams, sensitivity towards others is an excellent quality to have. An understanding of the feelings of others makes you a great team player. It also presents you as an approachable, friendly person to your peers. Such people are an asset to the team as they keep a harmonious environment flowing. It becomes all the more critical as the world is now diverse and increasingly interconnected. Therefore, being sensitive to people from varied backgrounds is an essential quality to have. Managers will surely appreciate the positive gust of wind you bring to the team.


Mutual respect is needed in any team for it to function effectively. As a team member, you must respect your teammates and their work. So, it shows that you value the efforts and opinions of others. Respectful behavior must be maintained even when you may not like the other person. Similarly, respect is to be accorded to work done by your organization. Such behavior shows that you are a thoroughly rational and respectful person who isn’t bound by personal choices. It is a mark of professionalism.


Care and consideration towards others is another essential quality in a team player. While working with other people, you must understand and care for their needs and wants. Helping others in time of need is one way of showing this. In addition, having a touch of empathy in your behavior while dealing with others enables you to develop excellent interpersonal relations.


A manager appreciates behaviors that reduce conflicts, create a harmonious environment, and enhance the team’s efficiency. As a member, you should strive to cultivate those within you. Being a great team player is a skill that comes with experience. However, keeping these points in mind can help you hone that skill when working with a team.

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What are the 5 behaviors of a successful team?

The key behaviors of any successful team are:
– Trust
– Collaboration
– Ownership
– Accountability
– Result-orientation

What are the behaviors of a good team player?

A good team player collaborates with others to derive results for their team. They are approachable and communicate effectively with the rest of the team. In addition, a good team player ensure that there is little scope of conflict by taking accountability and communicating properly with the rest of the team.

What are successful behaviors?

Successful behaviors in the workplace are those which help teams perform better. These include strong time management habits, healthy conflict resolution practices, little to no micromanagement of team members, active listening, etc. to name a few.

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