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Fostering accountability

Sarah-Louise Gandolfo
August 17, 2020

A question I am consistently asked is “how do I get my team to be more accountable?”. Accountability within an ECEC setting is vital to ensuring a positive and engaged workplace culture, where the growth of its people is considered vital. Services with a high level of accountability tend to have high quality teams that are well aligned with the service’s vision and philosophy.

There are three spheres of accountability:

  1. Define
  2. Empower
  3. Reflect

You need all of them to foster an environment that actively promotes accountability.

Define

Brene Brown captured it perfectly when she said, “clear is kind”. She may not have been specifically referring to position descriptions, induction, and policies, but the fact of the matter is that when educators have clarity over their roles and responsibilities, they are more likely to demonstrate the ability to be accountable. Start by ensuring your position descriptions for every level of the organization are clear, accurate and comprehensive. Establish robust induction procedures that outline exactly what is expected of educators within their role. Finally, ensure service and organizational policies and procedures are easy to read and accessible.

Empower

Involve your people. If educators do not feel connected to the organization, or as though their contributions are wanted and considered valuable, then they are unlikely to be accountable to their roles. Policy reviews, QIP decision-making, philosophy reflections and position description development are all simple processes that can make a world of difference to ensuring educators feel a sense of ownership toward the service.

Reflect

Establishing and maintaining a culture of ongoing professional learning, and commitment to continuous quality improvement, is a great way to ensuring an environment where everyone wants to hold each other, as well as themselves, accountable. This is likely to involve the introduction of expectations around giving and receiving feedback. Feedback is essential to ensuring that everyone is on the right path and working toward a shared commitment to quality.