Tips for Developing a Culture of Personal Responsibility

Have you worked in an organization where no one seems to take any personal responsibility for meeting their deliverables, deadlines, or project results?  As a top performer, how does that make you feel?  Let’s talk about how we can develop a culture of personal responsibility and drive results!


1.  Understand the Aim of the organization

Everyone must understand the aim of the organization.  What are the goals for this quarter?  For the year?  How will we handle business in a pandemic? I have mentioned before the importance of a Lean management system that shows the True North of the company.  A Lean management system provides the Aim of the company.

Provide performance metrics relevant to supporting the Lean management system.  Make sure that team members understand how their personal responsibility supports the company goals.  Connect the dots between their actions and the outcomes of the department or their area of responsibility.

2.  This drives everyone’s Attention

To meet the Aim of the organization it will require everyone’s attention on doing the right things to meet the Aim of the company.  Daily huddles or quick scrum meetings increase people’s attention on doing what is necessary to support the current goals.

Are you having these daily reminders?  If not, begin having brief 10-15 minute huddles.  Review metrics so that team members can understand how they are performing.  People want to know the score.  Share it with them. These go a long way toward improving personal responsibility.

3.  Measure People’s Attitude

You aren’t given an attitude, you choose an attitude.  Who wants to be around the person who is always negative or grumbling to themselves about how much work stinks.  No one.

Use the daily meetings and huddles to measure employee attitudes about their work.  Lead the meetings with a positive attitude and it will become contagious.  As part of the meeting make sure and ask if there are any roadblocks that you can remove.

Sometimes, people are afraid to ask for help.  Being upfront about removing roadblocks shows that everyone is being treated with the same concern.  If employees know that they can ask for help, their attitudes improve.  They feel less frustrated.

4.  Take Action

Now that everyone understands the Aim of the company, focuses their Attention with positive Attitudes, ensure you are focusing on the right actions.  I know many organizations develop long-term strategic plans.  A problem with that is business is rapidly changing.  Unexpected things happen like COVID-19 which has brought the world to it’s collective knees.

I prefer to use a quarterly action plan tied to longer-term goals.  What actions can you take this quarter that will enable you to meet the overall annual goals?

Operating with this sense of urgency drives personal responsibility.  Team members can’t blow off deadlines and deliverables when there are 90-day goals to meet.  Shorten your window of focus and watch employee personal responsibility soar!

As always, it’s an honor to serve you and I hope this helps you and your organization get a little bit better today.

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