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Accountability Essentials – Employee Accountability Requires Engagement

Accountability Essentials

Mindful leaders know that serving others is the key to better business results, greater team involvement, happier followers and a sustainable future.

I recently spoke with the senior VP of Human Resources of a Silicon Valley company regarding providing executive coaching for the company CEO. She asked some very insightful questions to determine fit. She specifically wanted to know how I work with different personality styles, and my methods for initiating change in thinking and behavior.

The senior VP of HR and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior based on neuroscience and emotional intelligence are important competencies for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her company to create a high involvement culture where accountability is practiced from the top and throughout the organization.

The senior VP of HR is interested in partnering with me in helping create a collaborative and high involvement corporate culture based on trust and respect. We further discussed how company executives can benefit by working with a seasoned cognitive executive coach.

Employee Accountability Requires Engagement

In an age of ubiquitous social media and cell-phone videos, leaders know that one careless customer experience can go viral, ruining their corporate reputations and wrecking careers. They ned to be transparent, conscientious and responsible to their global constituents, never forgetting that employees, customers and the community at large will hold them to the highest standards.

Accountability refers to your answerability, blameworthiness and liability. Leaders need to acknowledge and assume responsibility for their actions, products, decisions and policies. They need to insist on accountability at all levels of the workplace hierarchy. Employees should be expected to operate within a culture of personal responsibility and be held accountable to their peers, teams and the organization.

Transparency and Engagement

Accountability starts at the top, with an executive team that fully commits to worthy goals and objectives. With transparency, you engage your workforce to implement, support and be accountable for corporate actions.

Employee accountability requires engagement. The highest motivator is intrinsic: tapping into people’s strengths and interests, while allowing a certain degree of autonomy. Rewards needn’t always be monetary; often, simple recognition stimulates engagement. Most people work better when they know someone cares and is interested in them.

Effective Feedback

True accountability cannot exist without feedback and rewards—areas in which most organizations have weaknesses.

Unfortunately, most managers dread providing feedback, which seems to have such a negative connotation in our society. No matter how many negative comments are offset with positive ones, recipients always seem to obsess over perceived slights. This tendency is actually physiological: Our brains are wired to be biased toward negativity—a phenomenon that can undermine trust and rapport.

Needless to say, if your feedback is strictly positive, there’s no way for you to provide constructive input. On the other end of the feedback continuum, overly critical feedback will discourage employees’ efforts. Leaders need to strike the right balance.

The most effective managers, leaders and coaches provide high-support/high-challenge feedback, which increases employee awareness while pushing for enhanced performance. You can say, for example: “Your recent report was stellar. You covered all the basics and backed them up with research. Here’s an idea to consider: How can this report be better? I’d like to see you come up with one or two ways to make it airtight. How would you do that?”

Team Accountability and Feedback

Most management systems are so focused on individual performance that they undermine the very teamwork they hope to encourage. As a team manager, you can support desired behaviors by ensuring that everyone understands and agrees on what success looks like. Bring team members together to discuss goals and metrics. Have them answer this question: “What would it take for us to give ourselves an A?”

Once the team knows and understands its mission and how work will be evaluated, be sure to check in regularly. Pose questions that help the group assess its progress:

  • How are we performing as a team?
  • What obstacles can we remove?

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to be accountable? Resonant leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I fully engaged and accountable for my performance?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their transformational peak performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you become a more accountable leader. You can become a leader who models emotional and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage  and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to, write to, or call 415-546-1252.

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