If I had to guess, you most likely work for a company that holds you accountable to its mission, vision, and goals. And it’s probably safe to say that you expect the same accountability from your employer. But what do you do when the company you work for doesn’t hold itself responsible for its actions?
You (yes, y-o-u) have to take matters into your own hands and hold your company accountable for its actions. Not only is doing so the responsible thing to do, but it will positively impact your organization by improving trust, enhancing productivity, and ultimately creating a better company to work for regardless of your position.
Of course, you could just sit back and watch your employer talk the talk and not walk the walk. But there’s a good chance that doing so probably won’t yield the results and job satisfaction you’re ultimately looking for.
So, instead of hoping for things to take a turn for the better and change, my recommendation is you take matters into your own hands and hold your employer accountable to the same standards they have for you.
5 Ways to Hold Your Company Accountable for Its Actions
1. Start with yourself — whether it’s advocating for work-life balance or more diversity in the workplace, make sure you’re leading by example long before you approach anyone in leadership about their actions or lack thereof.
2. Create a safe space — according to the authors of the book, Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior, it can be helpful to create a culture of safety in the workplace where ALL employees are held accountable for maintaining standards and procedures. And I couldn’t agree more because having a safe space is what allows everyone to comfortably bring up and discuss whatever is on their mind — including things that need improvement from you, your leadership team, or both.
3. Set clear expectations — in the same fashion that you want to understand expectations clearly before you commit to something, it’s vital to ensure your management or organization is also clear about the expectations you have from them. So, make sure you take time to clearly outline what those expectations are, including but not limited to specific responsibilities, timing, and the measurable goals you expect to see from your employer.
4. Check-in regularly on the progress — if your company can perform regular check-ins on your progress, it’s only fair that you should be able to request the same level of accountability in return. Just make sure you clearly and respectfully define what that looks like for both of you. Of course, if you notice the “progress” is nothing more than lip service, then it’s probably time to dust off your resume and start looking for another job (something you should be doing even when you’re happy with your company).
5. Encourage mutual feedback — instead of always being on the receiving end of feedback, stress the importance of two-way input from your manager, leadership, or company as a whole. This way, you’ll be able to collectively receive and provide constructive criticism necessary for you and the organization to move forward and grow.
Now that you know WHY and HOW to hold your company accountable, go ahead and give it a go. And after it’s all said and done, if your employer is still not willing to be held responsible for its actions, your next best move might be to fire them. Because the last thing you want to do is work for an organization that doesn’t respect you or live up to its mission, vision, and goals.