Accountability vs. Responsibility in the Workplace

Accountability and responsibility can fall into the trap of meaning the same thing. In this blog we will cover the differences between accountability and responsibility in the workplace.

While there are similarities, accountability is given and responsibility is taken. Accountability may be imposed within an organisation, however this does not automatically mean that the individual will take responsibility.

Accountability can create Responsibility

Accountability and responsibility have an integral relationship, but we need to acknowledge that responsibility does not create accountability, but accountability can create responsibility.

If you are in a workplace where there is no responsibility taken by different divisions or employees, or is inconsistent, look at the different platforms for accountability. Reporting, team meetings and performance reviews are all platforms for accountability when they are being driven correctly.

It is really common for people to hear ‘No, I haven’t done that’ and not ask why to avoid conflict or confrontation. Instead of just asking what happened, they will leave frustrated and the employee will also leave frustrated that no resolution has been reached.

The benefits of Accountability in the Workspace

When you change your style to accountability, rather than waiting for people to take responsibility, you will drive a high performing culture where everyone understands what is expected of them and the standard expected of them.

While this may seem difficult, accountability will create transparency within the organisation, decrease anxiety, and your colleagues and team members can be feel like they are moving in the right direction and take responsibility for their role.

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