When corporate leaders identify organizational performance gaps, their first instinct is to strategize ways to bridge those gaps — perhaps by reappointing managerial duties, funneling additional resources into a floundering project, or implementing new operational protocols.
Unfortunately, this approach is a lot like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound — it may temporarily stop the bleeding, but it fails to address the underlying cause. While poor performance may appear to be the result of inadequate resource allocation or faulty leadership, these apparent ‘causes’ are actually symptomatic of a deeper problem: a lack of higher accountability in the workplace.
The Steps to Higher Accountability in the Workplace
According to the New York Times bestselling book The Oz Principle, accountability is the “personal choice to rise above one’s circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results.”
The personal, continual, and committed choice to take accountability in the workplace requires a unique set of disciplined beliefs and actions — known as See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It®. In this model, accountable employees practice active feedback-seeking and self-reflection in order to see the disconnect between actual and desired results. Then, they take personal psychological ownership of these problems by understanding the ways in which their daily work directly impacts results. Accountable employees then practice collaborative, creative problem-solving in order to address the issues hindering results. Finally, they execute effective solutions in order to do what their team and organization require in order to generate results.
When employees proactively See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It, they collectively create a culture of accountability and equip the organization to tackle its greatest challenges.
Measuring Accountability in the Workplace
It should come as no surprise that every employee and every team within an organization has a unique set of strengths and areas for improvement. While one employee may excel at actively seeking and implementing feedback — enabling him or her to recognize crucial performance gaps — perhaps he or she falls short when it comes to the creative problem-solving necessary to close those gaps. When employees are not able to effectively deliver on all counts of SOSD®, performance falters and desired outcomes cannot be achieved.
Since personal accountability shapes proactive problem-solving in the workplace, the only way to fully close performance gaps and propel sustained results is by ensuring that each employee tackles accountability head-on. When organizations master accountability, they are positioned to deliver on critical topline priorities, including speed to market, level of achievement, employee engagement, organizational growth, and ability to change.
Partners In Leadership has been building cultures of accountability and boosting topline results for more than 30 years. Our groundbreaking Workplace Accountability Index provides leaders with direct visibility into accountability across all levels of their organizations by quantifying key indicators of accountability based on the SOSD model — including feedback-seeking, psychological ownership, creative problem-solving, and rates of effective action-taking.
Powered by a Likert scoring system and sophisticated predictive data analysis capabilities, the Workplace Accountability Index gauges not only mean levels of each element of See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It, but can pinpoint the exact degree to which teams and individuals practice each of these steps.
For example, a leadership team could see that for the statement, “You are comfortable asking for feedback from others,” the average employee score is 4.5 out of 7. They can then home in on the breakdown of this score distribution, discovering that a large percentage of employees feel blatantly uncomfortable seeking feedback. Then, leaders can tackle this problem with an informed understanding of why some employees feel this way — perhaps they don’t feel valued at work or included in team decision-making. By addressing the microscopic issues that impede any part of See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It in the workplace, leaders are able to develop effective solutions for changing mindsets and establishing a culture of accountability.
New Solutions for Increased Workplace Accountability
While a number of commercially available surveys may be able to give leaders a basic sense of employee engagement levels, insights from the Workplace Accountability Index are diagnostic — underscoring the critical connections between workplace accountability and the specific areas of success that matter to every leader.
By identifying fundamental accountability gaps within an organization, the Workplace Accountability Index positions leaders to implement effective solutions for boosting accountability and driving immediate results. In fact, when organizations tackle every performance problem with accountability top-of-mind, they achieve accelerated speed to market, higher levels of personal and organizational growth, greater achievement on every team, deepened employee engagement, and agility in adapting to change.