Real Change Requires Accountability

March 17, 2020

People often say that “actions speak louder than words.” If you’re nodding your head, then you know what I mean. It’s easy to sit around and say you’ll do something, but actually doing it is a different story. 

Why is taking action more difficult? Because as we’ve discovered, taking action requires more than just ability and willpower. It also requires accountability.

To bring this to life, let’s take a look at Tamara.

Tamara is the HR Coordinator at a Fortune 500 company. Last month, she received employee feedback from a pulse survey. The good news is that there are tons of great suggestions to help HR improve employee morale and engagement. With excitement, Tamara shares it with her manager, who is on board with trying some of these out. With faith in Tamara, her manager lets her run with it to drive the new initiatives.

Tamara starts the initial planning for the project…but then, guess what happens? The bad news is the ball stops rolling there. Sidetracked by competing priorities, she doesn’t take further action. Her team isn’t aware of the project, so no one pitches in to help. And her manager? Drowning in his work, he fails to follow up on the project. 

If you think this story is tragic, I’m with you. And unfortunately, this is all too common in organizations. So what went wrong? A lack of accountability.

No accountability, no change.

Now let’s explore how you can create accountability at different levels.



As we’ve often heard, real change starts from within. And that’s the damn truth.

Being accountable means holding yourself to your words. It means taking responsibility for your own actions and following through to the end. It’s about digging deep to find the motivation to understand your ‘why’, and not making any BS excuses. So if the ball stops rolling, you have to push it to get it going again. 

But in our fast-paced world, 100% ownership of what you say you will do can be hard when other things come up, as we saw with Tamara. That’s why in reality, self-accountability also needs to be nurtured in an ecosystem where we support each other.


Peer Accountability

If you think about it, we used to live in tribes where members would rely on one another for survival. Though we’ve evolved, our biological wiring is still pretty much the same. If we apply that to the workplace, it means that encouraging employees to band together will increase their chances of success.

When groups come together, accountability multiplies. Sharing experiences and challenges creates a bond that strengthens relationships, builds rapport, and increases cross-functional collaboration. This shifts the focus away from ‘Me’ and creates an environment of ‘We’. Together, the group can move confidently towards their goals and push forward.


Manager Accountability

Peer accountability is powerful. But what happens when colleagues leave the group to head back to their day-to-day work? If their peers aren’t around to keep them accountable, who better than their manager?

Managers play a pivotal role in the overall success of their direct reports. It’s no surprise then that managers should further drive accountability. As a manager, it’s important to delegate tasks, but it’s even more important to make sure their team follows through and takes ownership of their actions.


Ecosystems of Accountability

In an ecosystem where accountability lives, employees can thrive.

With shared accountability, employees can achieve more than they could’ve ever thought possible alone. As others invest them, they will begin to feel a greater sense of purpose and belonging.

At HumanQ we love to help transform stagnant silos into mobilized ecosystems of accountability. That’s why through our Group Coaching Tracks, we cultivate layers of accountability. It starts from the self, amplifies in group cohorts, and reaches out to the manager for support. This ripple effect builds ownership and creates a real sense of purpose and belonging.

Need help building accountability in your organization? Then don’t just sit there and think about it. Take action and let us know.


Nishika de Rosairo | CEO and Founder | HumanQ

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HumanQ is a live video platform for Group Coaching designed to create psychologically safe spaces that build engagement, connection, and impact at every level of an organization. To date, HumanQ has delivered to over 73 countries worldwide leveraging a global expert network of coaches to unlock human potential. For more information on the impact of group coaching with HumanQ contact us at

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