Building and Sustaining a Culture of Accountability

Accountability is a choice that must come from within. At the same time, there are things an organization can do to create and sustain an environment where that choice is made every day.

The Problem

Following through on personal and organizational commitments is essential to achieve necessary results.  However, many challenges stand in the way.  The issue is whether we will allow those challenges to become excuses, or we will maintain a dedicated focus on what we can control.

What Is Accountability?

While there are many definitions of accountability, fundamental to nearly all of them is a personal commitment to do what we said we would do.  Accountability is sustained by focusing on what is controllable and making a decision to pursue excellence even in the face of significant odds.

How we can help

Building a Culture of Accountability takes focused effort and an intentional approach.  At the heart of this work is engaging individual employees with principles to help them navigate the setbacks that are inevitable in today’s work environment.  Frontline Training Solutions can help by providing targeted training and consulting efforts that focus on empowering employees to stay focused on results while fostering creative problem-solving approach.  At the same time, we can assist organizations in creating the atmosphere where personal accountability is supported and emphasized.

  • Shifting our Mindset: Accountability is often a topic that comes up after something goes wrong.  It is reactionary when individuals, leaders, and organizations are looking for someone to blame.  Our approach flips the script from “holding people accountable” to “taking accountability.”  This alternative perspective puts control back in the hands of individuals and makes accountability more of a proactive concept in organizations
  • Addressing the Elephant(s) in the Room: Accountability becomes an issue when challenges get in the way of success.  As human beings, we have developed a number of coping mechanisms that help us navigate these challenges but that also may prevent us from remaining engaged.  Instead of staying focused on what needs to be accomplish, we focus on excuses, blaming others, and waiting for others to take action.  In order to overcome the gravity of these behaviors, we need to recognize them and build strategies for overcoming.
  • Accountability & Personality: Our approach to personal accountability is driven, in large part, by our personality.  What we need from others, especially when things are not going well, may be different that what others need.  Elevating our self-awareness can help us determine what we need to “get back in the game.” Elevating our awareness of others can also help ensure we are providing assistance rather than creating additional roadblocks for an already challenging situation.
  • The Role of Feedback: One of the most important tools we have to address a lack of accountability is feedback.  Often times we can be blind to what we can control because we are so focused on what is in our way.  Employees, leaders, and organizations who want to elevate accountability need to increase their understanding of the situation and their role in it.  And the best way to do that is to create an atmosphere where feedback is given and received effectively.
  • The Role of the Organization: Sustaining a Culture of Accountability requires systematic tools, resources, and processes. It requires buy-in from leaders and frontline employees. It requires training and focused coaching. It requires an openness and candor that is built out of a desire to help and encourage.  It requires the ability to look in the mirror and be honest about both our shortcomings and our capabilities. In short, it requires the organization to embrace a new, or enhanced, way of thinking holistically.

Rise to the Challenge with Frontline Training Solutions

Ready to take your team to the next level? Contact our team today to get started.



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Experienced Problem Solving for Your Industry:


Accountability is essential in a manufacturing environment.  Individual employees must deliver their part of the process in order for others to succeed.  When roadblocks turn into excuses or apathy, accountability is lost.  The good news is there are tools that can help individuals and teams re-engage even when challenges persist.

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Customers understand things can go wrong.  What they want more than anything in those situations is for employees to take ownership of helping them through those challenges.  The differentiator for retail and hospitality organizations is not how many times something goes wrong, but what the team does when they do. Frontline Training Solutions can help you develop a game plan for customer service experiences that delight.

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Frequently Asked Questions

While there are a lot of definitions of accountability, central to most of them is the idea of follow-through.  Doing what we said we will do builds trust and ensures the organizations is moving forward in meaningful ways.  Accountability is, we believe, a personal choice and something that must come from within.  We do not believe it is possible to “hold” someone accountable, but rather seek to build process and systems that encourage people to “take” accountability for their  work and results.