Accountability is crucial when working in high-risk industries like manufacturing.
Workplace guidelines, laws, regulations and standards need to be upheld by all workers or you run the risk of a serious workplace incident.
Make no mistake – accountability is hard work and requires a tremendous amount of consistency and follow-through from both leaders and workers. The challenges and barriers are real. But the rewards outstrip the effort required.
So how do you step-up a culture of accountability?
1. Walk the talk
Be consistent and fair in your actions. Call yourself out on unjust behaviour or decisions.
Want to know more about what actions to take to prevent poor organisational justice, download the actions and mitigations here.
2. Define what workers are accountable for
Have clear and consistent roles, responsibilities and expectations for each worker.
Make sure everyone understands what is expected of them and that they have the tools and resources to deliver.
3. Cascade workplace goals
Be clear about how each worker and team fits into the broader workplace vision
Workers that understand how they contribute to their workplace's goals have a higher task identity, purpose and higher task significance – all important elements in creating good jobs and productive workers.
So make sure your workm8tes at all levels know exactly how their work contributes to the success of the business.
Find out more about how to design good and rewarding jobs.
Trust that your workers will do as they promise.
Don’t micromanage – it is counterproductive.
5. Hold workm8tes to account
Provide feedback, call out good behaviour & address poor performance
You've set the vision for the workplace, agreed on the expectations for the role, they know their responsibilities, and you have given them your trust to deliver.
Now you need follow-through.
Check-in (not check on – which can be a form of micro-managing) with your workm8tes. Ask yourself are they delivering?
Failing to hold workers to account doesn't seem like a big issue in the short-term. But the long-term a lack of accountability sends the message that what they do isn't important - damaging worker trust and harming workplace morale, engagement and performance.
Use feedback and recognition as ways of holding your workers to account, celebrating their successes and steering them when they need support.
Feedback and recognition are two essential elements of good job-design and are important in creating a stress-free, safe and productive workplace.
Call out good behaviour
Address poor performance as soon as possible
Workers at all levels need feedback to be able to course correct towards their goals.
The most effective form of feedback comes from frequent conversations with a direct manager.
Lack of recognition is the #1 reason workers leave their job.
Recognise workers that do the right thing, have a good attitude or behaviours (not just high performance).
It is important to take immediate action where agreed standards are not being met. Failing to do so sends a counterproductive message that poor performance is tolerated and can damage overall team performance. Investigate the cause – it may not always be a lack of worker responsibility. It could be: not having clear instructions; lack of training; technical; personal or communication issues; conflicting priorities; or disengagement.
Check-in and see how your actions measure up
Download our No Stress M8 leader checklist and see how your actions measure up. Use this checklist as part of holding yourself to account to your commitment to creating a stress-free, safe and productive workplace.
Want to know more about good job design in manufacturing?
Take a look at the guide we've made for you, and take our online assessment to get a tailored action plan and create no stress, safe and rewarding jobs for your workm8tes.