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Assessment: Is Your Team Lacking Accountability?

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Leaders in all departments and industries want their teams to be highly accountable - and for a good reason! When your team follows through on agreements, takes ownership of their actions, owns their mistakes, and takes initiative, great things can happen, like improved team culture and individual performance.

But how accountable is your team, really? Do they have a strong sense of accountability, or do their behaviors point to a lack of it? You’ll get a better idea of exactly that by answering the following questions! Let’s begin.


Struggling to hold employees accountable? If so, this guide to accountability  is a must-read!


Question 1

Does your team follow through on their promises and do what they say they will do?

  1. Always
  2. Occasionally
  3. Rarely or Never


Question 2

When your team makes a mistake, how do they respond?

  1. They take ownership of their actions without being prompted, offer an apology if appropriate, and present a plan to minimize the chances of it happening again.
  2. They sometimes take ownership of their actions, but they have also been known to place blame and make excuses.
  3. They rarely, if ever, accept their part in the mistake. Instead, they are quick to place blame or make excuses.


Question 3

When your team cannot fulfill an agreement or meet a deadline, what do they do?

  1. Come to me well in advance with an explanation and a plan of action.
  2. Wait until the last minute to tell me and rely on me to find a solution.
  3. Don’t say anything, and when someone else does, they brush it off as no big deal.


Question 4

How willing is your team to help each other, yourself, and other employees or leaders?

  1. They are very willing to help others (when appropriate) and always have a “How can I help?” mentality.
  2. It’s hit or miss. Their willingness to help others is influenced by their mood, schedule, and relationship with the person.
  3. They will only help others if it’s mandated or if their job security is at risk.


Question 5

When you assign your team a task, do you trust that they will complete it to the best of their ability, no matter what challenges or setbacks they face?

  1. Absolutely. They have a proven track record of doing so, and as such, I trust them completely with any task I assign.
  2. Not entirely, but their track record is improving, which makes me hopeful that I will feel differently in the future.
  3. No. My team does not have an excellent track record and requires close supervision to get quality work completed.


Question 6

Would you say your team is open to constructive feedback and is coachable?

  1. Absolutely
  2. Sometimes
  3. No


Question 7

Does your team take calculated risks?

  1. Yes. My team shows sound judgment when taking calculated risks and proactively takes ownership of the outcome, good or bad.
  2. Sometimes but they need encouragement and reassurance from me to do so.
  3. No. I would say my team is risk-averse and would instead stick with the status quo to avoid failure.


Question 8

What do you think your team's reputation is among the rest of the organization?

  1. I believe that the organization sees my team as one that can be counted on and trusted to do what they say they will do and help when and where they can.
  2. My team's reputation with the organization is not bad, but not the best. We are actively working on improving it.
  3. I believe that my team’s reputation within the organization is not strong and needs to be improved.


Question 9

Does your team arrive at meetings on time and come adequately prepared?

  1. Always
  2. Occasionally
  3. Rarely or Never


Question 10

How willing is your team to ask for help when facing a problem?

  1. My team is very willing to ask for help but always tries to solve it on their own first.
  2. My team will ask for help, but they do not try to solve it on their own first.
  3. My team is reluctant to admit they have a problem, and even less so, to ask for help.


Results: Is Your Team Lacking Accountability?

Mostly A’s - Your Team Demonstrates Accountability, but Now You Need to Keep It Up

If you answered mostly A’s, then chances are your team demonstrates a sense of accountability. This means that your team follows through on agreements, takes ownership of their actions, owns their mistakes, and takes initiative. However, no matter how strong your team’s sense of accountability is today, if you want it to continue long-term, you will need to make a conscious effort to encourage it at every opportunity. 


Mostly B’s - Your Team Isn’t As Accountable as They Could Be

If you answered mostly B’s, your team might not be as accountable as you want. While they may follow through on their commitments, own their mistakes, and take ownership of their behaviors, they might be prone to placing blame, pointing fingers, and avoiding initiative. In this case, you have a chance to build on their existing sense of accountability and make it stronger. Consider investing in accountability training for yourself as their leader and group training for them as individuals to equip everyone with the skills they need and build their confidence when taking accountability at work.


Mostly C’s - Your Team Lacks Accountability and Action Is Needed

If you answered mostly C’s, then your team may be showing strong signs of a lack of accountability. Rest assured, though, that hope is not lost for your team! Your team can learn how to be more accountable in the workplace. To make this happen, start by investing in your leadership development, so you know how to hold employees accountable in a way that feels motivating, not like a punishment. Second, seek out team training on the topic of accountability so they can build their skills and their confidence.

How To Hold Employees Accountable:  A Leader’s Guide to Accountability in the Workplace