What do you think of when you hear the word “Accountability”? What about “Integrity”?
These two fundamental values hold the key to success both in your personal and professional life. They’re integral in shaping the culture, performance, and reputation of an organisation. So let’s explore the synergy between accountability and integrity and their ability to transform a working environment.
“Exhibiting accountability over time is a gateway to trust. When we see someone acting with accountability, we gain the evidence we need to trust them.” – Mike Erwin and Willys Devoll
Accountability is primarily about taking responsibility for your actions, decisions, and their consequences. In the workplace, it extends to both individual and team responsibilities. When employees embrace accountability, they commit to their work and being answerable for the results. Erwin and Devoll are correct in saying that accountability is the “gateway to trust”, as an honest and reliable team foster a culture of trust, which is necessary for the success of an organisation.
Accountability and Integrity: How They Intersect
Accountability and integrity share an inseparable link. When individuals and teams demonstrate consistency by fulfilling their responsibilities, they’re in essence acting within their code of ethics. So, accountability ensures that commitments are kept, which in turn, contributes to an environment of integrity. This relationship between the two values creates a foundation of transparency, and reliability.
The Benefits of Accountability
Promoting accountability within an organisation offers an increasing number of benefits. It nurtures a culture of openness where employees feel secure in admitting their mistakes and seeking ways to learn from these errors. As accountability becomes a norm, teamwork and collaboration thrive. The exchange of new ideas and information increases, which enhances problem-solving and innovation. Accountability, also boosts employee engagement, as it gives them a sense of ownership in their work and encourages them to take initiative.
Authentic Integrity in The Workplace
Before we jump into a short description of authentic integrity in the workplace, we’ve written an in-depth blog post on this topic with our insights into what every employee needs to know about integrity, so definitely give that a read for more information.
Authentic integrity in the workplace goes beyond committing to what is needed. It means doing what is right, even when no one is watching. This level of integrity is essential for building a strong, ethical, and resilient organisational culture. When individuals act with authenticity and consistency, they contribute to an environment where trust and ethical behaviour are the norm.
Fostering Accountability and Authentic Integrity
To foster accountability and authentic integrity in the workplace, leaders and their teams can take several steps:
- Set clear expectations: Clearly define roles, responsibilities, and expectations for all employees.
- Promote open communication: Encourage employees to speak up and share their ideas, concerns, and feedback.
- Lead by example: Managers and leaders should set the standard for the behaviour they want to see in their teams.
- Provide support and resources: Offer the tools and resources necessary for employees to meet their responsibilities.
- Recognise and reward accountability: Acknowledge and appreciate employees who consistently demonstrate accountability and integrity.
Don’t just take it from us, let’s have a look at a real-world example of an organisation prioritising accountability and integrity. The clothing and outdoors company Patagonia is a prime example of a brand implementing integrity into their core-values. They value being open and honest in their business and learning from the mistakes they make along the way, whilst continuously looking for new ways to develop and innovate. There’s no doubt that this company has experienced much success over the years, and this is largely due to their ethos surrounding integrity and accountability.
As you can see, these values serve as the bedrock upon which thriving, ethical, and high-performing organisations are built. By consistently embracing accountability and acting with authenticity, we create a workplace culture that encourages trust, ethical conduct, and excellence.
If your workplace is lacking in integrity, and holding others accountable seems like a daunting practice fear not as we can help! In situations where someone needs to take accountability, remember that it’s not a negative thing, it’s actually an opportunity for learning and growth. To learn how to integrate this into your leadership style , consider investing in a training programme or executive coaching that develops the skills, tools, and confidence needed to be a great leader.