Accountability of companies – what do you owe your employees
Although great expectations are placed on the employees to be accountable to their work, it is also a two-way street. Employers also have a duty to manage workplace expectations and set up an environment where employees feel encouraged, especially more so where businesses are under a microscope as businesses shift to working from home. While the importance of accountability has never been higher, achieving accountability in a virtual workplace is becoming increasingly challenging.
Accountability is important for both employers and employees – it will motivate staff and encourage them to maintain good work practices when operating outside of the typical office environment. The first step to creating a culture of accountability in the workplace is by engaging with employees. Employers must set clear expectations by clearly defining expected outcomes such as expected timelines for work tasks. Following that, avoiding micromanaging in the workplace will also help create a culture of accountability as trust is built amongst employees. When employees feel trust from their employers, they are more likely to succeed in their tasks.
Next, fair and frequent feedback between employers and employees will encourage accountability. This means having constant honest and constructive communication to encourage employees in their work flow, which will allow employers to further engage with employees. Part of the communication should also highlight the value of the employee’s work and how their contribution will be beneficial to the business. Employees that have an understanding of how their roles are integral to the business will increase productivity in the workplace and, in the long run, create a sustainable workplace.
Employers must also ensure that their employees feel connected to the organisation. This can be achieved by creating meaningful connections with employees outside of work. Common topics of conversation can help break formalities and allow employers to engage with employees further. Not only that, employers should also take into account the mental and physical wellbeing of their employees. Working virtually comes with a host of benefits, however, lack of physical human interaction may put a strain on the mental health of employees as there is a feeling of solitude when working remotely. Hosting virtual catch-up meetings with employees and having virtual lunches may reduce that divide and foster a more harmonious workplace.
All in all, employers must remember that their employees are people, and fostering a sense of accountability means creating a sense of belonging and value as being an integral part of the organisation. In the long run, these practices will create a better workplace for employees which will bring long-term productivity to the workplace and encourage employees to be more accountable.