In the workplace you might think that being accountable means you're the one who gets blamed when things go wrong. In fact, accountability is about helping people to take responsibility for their obligations. It's up to you to make sure your team knows what they are supposed to do and that they have what they need to get the job done. When you step up in this way, it can can create a positive workplace and help you to meet your goals.
When it comes to teamwork, everyone should realize the importance of being accountable in the workplace. For your team to recognize the value of their participation, you can create an activity. At the end of each week, ask your team members to write down a menial task, like cleaning a keyboard or doing a coffee run, and drop it into a jar. Each week, any team member who does not meet her obligations picks a task from the jar as her way of making it up to the team. Teamwork activities show the value of each person's accountability, and they can even be fun.
Encouragement through motivational activities plays a role in fostering accountability. Activities help your employees learn how to coach instead of pushing coworkers by creating an atmosphere of fear. That, in turn, can motivate the whole team, and a positive attitude and comfortable environment stimulate results. Give your team attainable goals without overwhelming them. You might even want to consider rewards for accomplishments. They might be token items like a pen or a mug, lunch on the boss or even an extra vacation day.
There are days when you and your coworkers are driven to perform and other days when you just make excuses. On those days, the activity of going public with your lack of performance can push you to achieve. You could do this with an activity at meetings. Have each person identify what she needs to do and tell the team that they can be count on her. Holding yourself accountable in front of your team forces you to take ownership -- with no excuses.
You feel accountable in the workplace, but you may not be as ready to accept responsibility for your actions as you should. As an awareness activity, you and your team can rank yourselves on a scale of one to 10 with one as "never" and 10 as "always," to see your characteristics of accountability. You can assess if you communicate regularly, admit mistakes, take initiatives, ask for help, ask yourself how you can do more, and welcome feedback, for example. For low ranking items, discuss steps you can take to be more accountable.