NOTE: This post is from one of our frequent contributors to this blog, "Birdseye59604.
As the Accountable Executive I am committed to enforce accountability compliance to ensure that everyone is accountable to safety. Your roles and responsibilities are described in the handbook, which was handed out at the beginning of the year. The handbook explicitly states conditions under which lack of accountability is enforceable, e.g. illegal activity, negligence or willful misconduct. In addition, all of you employees signed that you had read and understood everything in the handbook. I will enforce lack of accountability under the authorities of illegal activity, negligence or willful misconduct.
Wouldn't it be great if accountability to safety only would be ensured by the hard hand of enforcement? One would assume that life is good, that there are no hazards, incidents or accidents and everyone show up accountable and happy at work or in school in organizations with these types of leadership.
There are organizations that operate this way and these organizations are frequently enforcing accountability by firing employees. So, how many employees must be fired to ensure 100% accountability? Some organizations firmly believe in policies where accountability is only achieved by enforcement. Schools are enforcing lack of accountability with detention for not completing homework, or enforcing low grades to students when a principle assigns unsuitable study materials.
Safety and accountability is teamwork. Some say that there are no “I” in team, but there is. It’s just that it’s hidden in the “a”.
Accountability exists in a Just Culture, where the first step of accountability is taken by Accountable Executive and then continuing with Accountable Managers and Accountable Employees mirroring management behavior.
Accountability to safety is a tool for imperfect organizations with an unconditional commitment to accountable safety processes. The moment an enterprise demands virtual perfectionism is the day when human factors are discarded and accountability becomes lost.