Cultivating Workplace Culture: Shared Responsibility

Every team member has a job to do or a role (responsibility), an agreement on the desired results (accountability) and a limit to their decision making or boundaries with which they can apply resources or make decisions (authority).

Clear RAA’s Lead To Shared Responsibility

Great results begin with shared responsibility! Shared responsibility starts with clear responsibility, authority and accountability (RAA’s). RAA’s are a must for high morale and great results. First of all, every team member has a job to do or a role (responsibility). Hence, there must be an agreement on the desired results (accountability). Finally, there should be a limit to their decision making or boundaries with which they can apply resources or make decisions (authority).

How To Have Shared Responsibility

Make expectations clear. Use a job description. Identify the aspects of the project each team member is responsible to complete. Communicate each individuals responsibility in an open forum. Be clear on the importance of Each team mate’s contribution. Similarly, be clear on the consequences of missing deadlines. Most importantly, build commitment to the project by involving them in the decision making. Shared responsibility gets your to mission achievement faster.

Shared Responsibility, How To

To begin, answer the question, “what is the expected output?” or better yet, “what is a win if this role achieves their objectives?” Too many managers relate effort to production. This is a mistake. Therefore, if there is clear effort and poor results, one of two problems exists. First, there is a lack of competency or training. Or, a disciplinary problems exists. The answer lies in having an agreement with milestones and regular coaching. This will ensure your team mate is going to complete their project within the agreed upon timeframe.

To ensure shared responsibility, make sure everyone knows how their role contributes to the team and the mission.

How To Manage Authority

The answer to this question is all about boundaries. Covey would point to circle of influence versus circle of concern. Just because a team member is concerned about a problem doesn’t mean they have any action to take for improvement. Focus on your RAA’s before putting your nose into a peers job. However, a smart team mate who has a relationship with another team member might offer to help or make a suggestion. Therefore, be clear on boundaries, budgets and oversight.

Open communication is another factor that contributes to cultivating workplace culture and is addressed in my next blog.

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