5 min read

Will Greater Accountability Hurt Your Corporate Culture?

Jan 29, 2021 6:30:00 AM

Today we’re sharing insight from guest blogger Kathy Mayfield, Integrator at Traction® Tools. We hope you enjoy Kathy’s wisdom and perspective.

Will Great Accountability - BlogYou know accountability is necessary to gain Traction®, but how will greater accountability affect the culture of your workplace? You don’t want to give up the fun, family feel of work. You don’t want people to start dreading Mondays because somebody’s going to hold their feet to the fire. You want a lively, engaged workplace that people love to be a part of. Will greater accountability be a company culture killjoy?

Perhaps the better question to ask is, “What happens when there’s no accountability?”

Imagine No Accountability

Imagine there’s no accountability on your team. It isn’t hard to do, especially if this is in your leadership team’s recent history. We all know what happens to productivity and profits when accountability has left the building. But it has repercussions for your workplace culture as well. For example…

It starts fires

The lack of accountability means balls get dropped. The delivery date comes and goes, or a security patch slips through the cracks, or clients don’t get the follow-up they were promised. Suddenly you’ve got an emergency, and it’s Friday afternoon.

Now you’ve got a five-alarm fire for your entire team to put out, just as they were getting ready to enjoy the weekend. Your lack of accountability has created a culture of chaos.

It creates stress

The stress-free life is a paradise of ease and enjoyment. We dream of the day when we can retire on a beach with no responsibilities. Ahhh…to be free of accountability. Right? Well, not really.

Workplaces without accountability are high-stress environments. Those fires aren’t going to put themselves out, and there’s no telling when the next one will burst into flame. So your team is constantly in an elevated state of stress.

It erodes your team

An unaccountable team really isn’t much of a team. You need to know that you can count on your co-workers to do what they say they’ll do, and you need to know they’ve got your back in the rare case of a snafu.

When teams lack accountability, it’s every person for themselves, and the team only exists in name only.

It spurs your best people to leave

High performers can get work anywhere. There’s very little incentive for them to stay in an environment that lacks accountability. As a result, your team is left with the least engaged people, who don’t give their best to their work. As a result, you have the team no one wants to be a part of.

Accountability Empowers Autonomy And Ownership

On the other hand, greater accountability boosts employee engagement, because it nurtures autonomy and ownership. When people are held accountable, they have clear expectations for success. Within those expectations, they have the freedom to do their work autonomously and creatively. That’s incredibly freeing, and it produces a sense of pride in the work.

Accountability Isn’t Micromanaging

There’s a misconception that greater accountability means more micromanaging. Actually, it’s less accountable workplaces that are most micromanaged. When a manager is constantly hovering, correcting and checking in on you, it’s because there’s a lack of trust and a lack of accountability on the team. Micromanaging is the only way the manager can be assured the work is being done!

But accountable teams have built-in, structured expectations that allow leaders and managers to take a hands-off approach. That cultivates a positive company culture that will keep your best employees around—and help your low performers to either grow or leave the company.

Accountable companies have the healthiest corporate cultures. When you think about it, it’s not hard to imagine why!


This content was written and shared by Kathy Mayfield. It was previously posted on the Traction Tools blog.

Kathy MayfieldKathy is the Integrator at Traction® Tools and, quite frankly, one of the main reasons our company took flight. After joining forces with Certified EOS Implementer™ Todd Smart as his executive assistant in 2013, she helped catapult Smart Partners, Inc. into a thriving entrepreneurial company. By that time, Kathy’s love affair with EOS® was a done deal. A few years later when the saucy little startup Traction Tools appeared on the EOS scene, Kathy switched gears and focused her attention on making Traction Tools an operational success. Her work at Traction Tools has been described by our Visionary as “akin to transforming an airplane into a rocket ship—mid-flight.” She harnessed and directed our energy toward rapid growth. She’s done the same as the director of learning and a member of the Leadership Team of the Female Integrator Mastermind (FIM).

Connect with Kathy via LinkedIn. Connect with Traction Tools via their website, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Topics: Executive

Written by Gibson

Gibson is a team of risk management and employee benefits professionals with a passion for helping leaders look beyond what others see and get to the proactive side of insurance. As an employee-owned company, Gibson is driven by close relationships with their clients, employees, and the communities they serve. The first Gibson office opened in 1933 in Northern Indiana, and as the company’s reach grew, so did their team. Today, Gibson serves clients across the country from offices in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Utah.