Accountability Vacuum: Who’s Responsibility Is It, Really?

I have seen that one of the causes of frustration in the workplace is the hopelessness of co-workers trying hold each other accountable. A Workplace Accountability Study reported in talentculture.com revealed that 82% of respondents have no ability to hold others accountable, but 91% of people rank accountability as one of the top development needs they’d like to see at their organization.

There is a continuous struggle in the workplace for accountability to drive more predictability in individual production and contribution to organization output. With the advent of technology, more sophisticated performance management tools have been churned out to give organizations ability to demand better efficiencies from their human resources. Despite all this we still see from the October 2015 talentculture.com study that 11% of managers feel that 50% of their employees avoid taking responsibility. I know that one will find a similar discontent among reports feeling that their supervisors take a lot of slack for performance deficits while passing all the blame to the lower ranks.

What I notice from my observations of organizational climate is that frustration is rife when each party desires to hold the other person accountable, while absolving themselves of all responsibility. Inspite of this, in teams where the managers uphold their responsibility for whatever results are derived under their watch, especially the failures; the co- workers tend to be more trusting and engage better.

I see that this is an illustration of what Jesus taught about judging others, saying “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye’ Surely this approach to comradliness could not achieve any success in creating high performance teams and the frustration expressed in the above studies is clear evidence to this.

God made man to be self – governing and to support us in knowing the path of right, He not only provided us with the scriptures but went further to write His laws in our hearts. Having the laws in our hearts enable us to make the right choice for every situation without having to continually consult the scriptures. However, we know that man’s heart is rebellious and easily tends to evil, scriptures say, The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” To prepare the heart to receive the word of God and walk in righteousness, God in His Mercy gave us redemption through Jesus Christ. For a person to be righteously self – governing, they must be submitted to Christ and born again by His Spirit.

I therefore see that a person that has received Christ will be self – accountable in the work place providing high performance results without the need for micro- management. This is because their attitude to work is for an all knowing God who expects very high standards of performance. It is also unlikely that this person, if a supervisor will absolve themselves for failures of their team since again God is very clear on what He expects from the relationship between authorities and their subordinates. I therefore see that a Christian business climate will not suffer the persistent frustrations from lack of accountability but also be very high performing.

The challenge is therefore upon Christians to influence their work environments by showing God’s ideal for working in teams. The statistics and observations clearly indicate that this is an area mourning for help. I am also convinced that every cry of frustration from lack of accountability from the family unit, to business and even into Government, is a cry for sons of God because in its depth is the worldwide cry for the golden rule to love our neighbor as we love our selves.



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