Accountability in the workplace isn’t just something that’s nice to have, it’s a crucial part of a successful franchise. Without it, you may end up with a culture of finger-pointing and blaming, a recipe for business disaster.
According to the Workplace Accountability Study, done by Partners in Leadership, 91% of respondents ranked accountability as one of the top developmental needs at their companies. However, 82% of respondents also revealed they had no way to hold others accountable at work.
When you have accountability in the workplace, it strengthens the entire team because people know they have to take responsibility for their actions and in a working environment where accountability is the norm, there is no issue with taking this responsibility.
According to the United State’s Office of Personnel Management, a culture of accountability at work can lead to:
- Improved work performance
- Increased employee participation and involvement
- Heightened feelings of competency
- Better employee commitment to work
- Boosted creativity and innovation
- Enhanced employee morale and satisfaction with work
Franchisees can create a culture of accountability in their franchises with clear communication and employee involvement, by:
Making it a Core Value of the Franchise
A culture of accountability doesn’t just blossom on its own. It requires an effort to get it started and then constant nurturing to keep it going. Talk about it with your team and come to an agreement as to what accountability means in the context of your workplace. This definition will give you a basis to start from when making accountability a core value.
Having Consequences for Both Good and Bad Behaviour
Simply declaring accountability as a core value of your business isn’t enough. Once you’re done with that, you need to demonstrate that it is actually a core value. To do that, you have to reward good behaviour and discipline bad behaviour. These consequences must be applied consistently so employees can easily identify them in action. One of the key ways accountability diminishes in an organization is when employees see that poor behaviour goes undisciplined. Don’t get lax with it.
Setting Measurable Goals
Accountability also goes for business performance. When everyone is doing their best, the business thrives. To help with this, break your work down into smaller, specific goals that are easily measurable. When people can reach a target, they are more motivated. Goals help people focus on what is important to accomplish and prevent people from getting distracted by what is unimportant. Having these smaller goals means that if people do make a mistake, they’ll be more likely to own up to it because the goals are smaller and the pressure to perform won’t loom so large.
Use the numbers from your goals (number of sales, number of prospects talked to, numbers of days without a workplace accident, etc) and use them to motivate your employees. Numbers represent concrete — albeit intangible — items for people to point to and say they achieved that. Taking accountability for accomplishments is just as important as taking accountability for mistakes or poor performance.
If you have numbers that you can use for measuring goals, you can also readily tell when someone has not reached a goal. This is an indicator for employees to step up and be accountable for when they do not reach a goal. They can reflect and identify what stopped them from reaching their goal.
Make Accountability Everyone’s Responsibility
In a group environment, the “diffusion of responsibility” often means people don’t take responsibility for their actions. The diffusion of responsibility is when everyone in a group believes that someone else will take responsibility, leading to nobody taking responsibility.
Employees may think that it is only the responsibility of senior management to make sure things get done, goals are reached, people are on time, everyone does their fair share of work, everyone communicates clearly, etc. But, in a workplace that has accountability as a core value, it is everyone’s responsibility to hold their colleagues accountable, making it a shared responsibility among all members of the team.
Here at FranNet, we all take responsibility for helping you find your ultimate franchising opportunity. Take that first step toward business ownership by signing up for a free FranNet franchise search and consultation today.