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When associates show ownership for the customer experience and the results of their actions, you’ll likely find leaders known for trust and candor. The extreme example of a leader creating a culture of accountability is Pope Francis, who’s become change agent within one of the world’s oldest institutions.

To build a culture of accountability into an organization, let’s start with trust– it’s living the promise of integrity:

  • Credibility: choose words that are transparent
  • Reliability: take actions that can be depended upon
  • Openness: provide knowledge that matters to associates
  • Servant leadership: make the focus on others greater than focus on self

As for candor, think of the characteristics of leaders who create an aura within the enterprise.  Candid leaders:

  • Tell the truth, admit mistakes and expect others to do the same
  • Introduce courageous conversations
  • Employ the strength of diversity
  • Find inspired ideas in the opinions of naysayers

While accountability is a topic often discussed, there can be a wide gap between the theory and making it a sustainable practice. This is not simple; it requires senior leaders’ commitment and focus.  More importantly, it involves hard work and dedication to sustain it. When organizations take the challenge to hold themselves accountable, it is one of the best ways to both ensure success and boost associate morale.

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