The High Cost of Low Accountability

The cost of a lack of accountability is typically given in terms of low productivity, low morale, disengagement, high turnover, and missed opportunities. With that said, there is ample research regarding the cost of those metrics on the bottom line and the cost is high. Since accountability is a leading cause for more quantitative ills, businesses should focus on accountability and implement an improvement strategy.

Does Your Organization Have an Accountability Problem?

Symptoms of a lack of accountability include:

  • Culture of fear and indecision
  • Lack of innovation and creativity
  • Slow to make changes
  • Micromanaging through policies
  • Rumor mill is in overdrive
  • Blame and finger pointing
  • Low morale and productivity
  • High degree of employee disengagement
  • Above average absenteeism or turnover
  • Lack of trust

Bottom Line Costs

Employees disengage when they feel they are being treated unfairly. For example, in its 2017 Gallup Employee Engagement Report, researchers found that only about 30% of employees were engaged. And that disengaged employees cost businesses in the U.S. between $450 – $550 billion annually. Disengagement precedes low productivity, low morale, absenteeism, and ultimately turnover. Further, according to a 2017 Forbes article by Senior Contributor John Hall, turnover costs employers 33 percent of an employee’s annual salary.

The bottom line is that no one wants to work in an environment where there is no accountability or where managers selectively enforce the rules.

Mitzie Adams

On the other hand, exemplary performers thrive in an environment where managers set clear expectations, set high quality standards, and follow through with consequences for success and failure. So, it is no surprise that low accountability cultures suffer high turnover rates.

Creating a culture of accountability is a solution to accountability problems but it depends on 1. Managers who have the character to hold themselves accountable, and 2. Managers who have the skills to hold others accountable.

This blog deals with the above issues so expect future blog posts to provide recommendations for improving accountability skills, processes, and systems.

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