No matter what goal you’re trying to reach, you need accountability partners to help you get there. And while having mutual accountability between you and the company you work for is vital to your overall success, it’s equally (if not more) essential to have a culture of peer-to-peer accountability.
But why is a culture of peer-to-peer accountability so essential to you and your company’s success, and how do you go about establishing it among your peers?
Well, for starters, holding yourself and others accountable for doing what they’re supposed to do breeds mutual trust. In addition to fostering trust, mutual accountability can improve performance, increase efficiency, boost productivity, and drive innovation. And as a Product Manager with over a decade of experience working with a variety of teams, I can tell you that’s the recipe for long-term growth and success.
So, now that you have a better idea of why peer-to-peer accountability is the key to success, you’re probably thinking, “That’s great, now how do you integrate it into my work culture?”
If you want to integrate accountability into your work culture, you can’t just talk the talk. You have to walk the walk. And by that, I mean letting your peers hold you accountable if and when a problem arises. In other words, if the expectation was to deliver something on time and you’re late, you shouldn’t be surprised or upset when your team asks you what prevented you from getting the work done or wants to know what you’ll do differently next time, so that doesn’t happen again in the future.
Best of all, when you allow your team members to practice accountability, you open the door for them to model the same behavior — allowing you to hold them accountable when they miss a deadline, don’t follow the process, or deviate from the expectations in any way.
In addition to leading by example, it’s also essential to clearly communicate and agree on the expectations as a group before the work even begins. Doing so will help clarify expectations on any given project so everyone is on the same page about what needs to happen and what will happen if a ball gets dropped along the way.
And lastly, if you’re truly serious about creating a culture of peer-to-peer accountability within your company, remember not to lose sight of empathy and kindness. Because at the end of the day, holding someone responsible for their actions will only get you so far if you lose sight of the human element of what someone might be going through outside of work.