Build an Engaged & Accountable Workplace
Joel Harris Head, Headwinds Ltd.
A recent survey by Gallup Intl. finds that only 29% of employees are engaged with their
work. 54% report they are not engaged and 17% indicate they are actively disengaged. HR
Data Solutions found recently that a staggering 50% of employees said they had thought of
resigning in the past six months. It is estimated that lost productivity from lack of
engagement and accountability cost between $287 and $370 billion annually. Similar results
can be found in the U.K. Leaders often exacerbate this problem by creating systems to
control behavior. It is the wrong thing to do. What is needed instead is a new way of leading.
This workbook examines employee engagement and accountability from a systems,
employee and leadership perspective. It also invites the reader to examine aspects of their
firm to determine what is contributing to employee engagement and commitment and what is
What’s the number one concern among most entrepreneurs who are leading a growing firm or
major department? If you answered “managing people” you are absolutely right. Particularly as a
unit passes the 15+ employee threshold, helping employees stay committed, involved and
accountable for results becomes increasing more difficult. That’s the point at which the solo-
entrepreneur must relinquish some control over the business and delegate to other people.
At this growth stage, the solo-entrepreneur must decide the level of control to delegate. Some will
try to over-engineer the process and create rigid systems and procedures in an effort to maintain
control. Others will prefer to facilitate the process and become less hands-on. Which one are
To get a handle on the answer, stop and ask yourself a few questions:
Do employees here have low morale?
Are revenue and profits declining or flat-lined?
Do employees deny personal accountability and point fingers instead?
Is there a lack of staff engagement?
Is there a high level of turnover, compared to industry norms?
Do employees constantly gossip?
Building An Engaged & Accountable Workplace, © Headwinds Ltd.
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Building an Engaged &
If you find yourself with more yes answers than no answers, chances are you are exerting too
much control with the result that you are not tapping into the full knowledge and creativity of your