Oy, enough with the accountability already.

It’s the single most prominent issue I address in my leadership coaching business.

Some days it seems that every company has accountability issues. And when I say “some days”, I mostly mean Monday through Friday.

Workplace guru Anne Loehr appears to agree with me. According to her exploration, 85% of leaders fail to give their subordinates direction on what they should be working on.

To be crystal clear on this one, if you aren’t guiding your subordinates on what they should be working on, you are not holding them accountable.

Ergo, henceforth, herewith… 85% of leaders don’t hold their subordinates accountable at work.

I’m guessing you can relate to this in some form or fashionista.

Do you work in a place where there is little to no accountability?
You most likely do. There’s an 85% chance.

As you may already know, there are a bunch of issues that result from no accountability at work. This includes:

  • Decreased productivity
  • Low morale
  • Little innovation
  • Degrading culture

In other words, lack of accountability at work is bad for business.
But still, 85% of leaders fall victim to it.
Hmm. There must be a reason.

I know! I know!!

accountability at work surprise

An Accountability Surprise

I’ve got a surprise for you, cause I know how much you love surprises.

Though you think we are talking about an accountability issue in this article, we aren’t.

Accountability is not the problem.
Accountability is just the symptom.

<Plot twist>

The real problems are:

  • Poor decision-making, and
  • Fear of conflict

Let’s dive in deeper, shall we?

The Four Requirements For Accountability at Work

There are four required elements to effectively hold others accountable at work. They are:

  • A clearly defined outcome
  • A date to accomplish it
  • A single person responsible
  • Consequences for failure

If any one of those four items is missing, you aren’t actually involved in accountability. All four are absolutely required.

I can’t even tell you the number of leaders I’ve talked with who claim they hold others accountable, yet they don’t give a deadline date. Or they don’t give consequences for failure.

That’s not accountabil