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As a workplace leader – the buck stops with you.

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.

Two men wearing hardhats talking together as the walk through a warehouse with clipboards

So how do you create 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.

Take action against Poor Organisational Justice
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2. Define what workers are accountable for

Have clear and consistent roles, responsibilities and expectations for your leadership team, managers and supervisors.

Make sure everyone understands what is expected of them and that they have the tools and resources to deliver.

Sign your leaders up to make a commitment to being a No Stress M8 leader.

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.

4. Trust

Trust that your leaders will do as they promise.

Don’t micromanage – it is counterproductive.

5. Hold them 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 leadership team, managers and supervisors - are they doing what they agreed they would and by when?

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.

Provide feedback

​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.

Know how to give effective feedback.

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).

Tips for how to give effective recognition.

​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.

How to navigate difficult workplace conversations.

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.

Create good and safe jobs

Want to know more about what makes a good, safe and rewarding job in manufacturing?

Take a look at the guide we've made for you, and take our online assessment to get a tailored action plan so you can take action to improve the quality of your workplace job design.



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