Accountability and integrity are some of the most important values individuals can exercise in the workplace. Accountability is being responsible or answerable for an action. Integrity describes an individual who makes the choice to commit to honesty before she is faced with choosing between right and wrong. Without either value in the workplace, the culture within the company is at risk for poor organizational development.
When employers and employees are mutually accountable to each other, employees can trust that their work will be rewarded appropriately. Accountability between both parties -- along with leadership integrity -- can help provide employees with a sense of empowerment and belonging. Integrity allows employees to not fear retribution for their honest opinions and ideas. Accountability allows employees to exercise autonomy with the expectation that they will feel more invested in the company and, therefore, will perform better, more efficiently and more creatively.
When employees active practice accountability and integrity in the workplace, they tend to feel more pride and ownership in the company. Managers, however, must set the stage for this to happen by treating all employees as valued members of a team who each have an integral role in helping the company achieve its goals. According to the Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Research, when employees feel pride in their place of employment because of the accountability and integrity practiced, they are more likely to work more efficiently, reduce risks and have better loss control.
Mangers acting with integrity and practicing accountability are more likely to project a sense of stability to employees, which is important for employee retention, according to the Payscale website. Along with a sense of stability, employees with bosses who have integrity and are accountable to those who work for them know that their managers will share company information regarding goals. When a company does not provide its employees with stability through accountability and integrity, there is a higher chance the culture will be one of fear and that every employee must fend for herself. Additionally, an unstable work environment may give employees the impression that their boss plays favorites, does not encourage professional growth and creates an environment that does not promote high performance and productivity.
One of the best ways to lead is by example. If management allows its leaders to act without accountability and integrity, other employees will follow suit. The leaders of a company serve as the foundation of a company, so it is vital that this foundation is built on accountability and integrity. This is because a manager with weak values is more likely to produce employees who emulate his unwanted values. Conversely, a company supported with strong values will produce a culture that has an environment that performs well.