Whose fault is it?

Whose fault is it?

Blame is a symptom, and accountability is the cure.

Blame gives us flawed humans a sense of control. It grants us an outlet for discomfort, pain, anger, and frustration.   

And until people are heard or taken seriously in the workplace, they blame.

What else can they do? The people who created the chaos they operate in are too busy to care or help.

“Miss Tracey fell today because I had to cover for so and so, who didn’t show.” 

Fact: Employees who are spread too thin make mistakes. 

Blame is much easier than getting into the complexities as to why there is an open position. 

The focus should be on WHAT (not who) is to blame here. So and so is not the primary problem. Being understaffed is.

Fix the cause, not just the symptom.

If you honestly think about the environment your people work in, you would see the disconnects that cause errors. If you discussed these barriers with your people, you would better understand how to remove them. 

The miscommunication. The mixed messages. The changing priorities. The urgencies.

Blame gets tangled up in all of this and can become a driving force in your culture.

A culture of blame is a culture in need of repair. It’s blocking empathy in your people and it’s breeding resentment. It chips away at teamwork and engagement and all of the outcomes you care about. 

Blame and accountability. 

The opposite of blame is accountability. According to Brené Brown, “It takes tenacity and grit to hold people accountable.” We love that.

In our culture work all over the country, we have learned that accountability is hugely important to those working in senior living. As a matter of fact, accountability consistently shows up in the top three most desired workplace values for organizations. People want more accountability where they work. In fact, they are craving it! And leaders want more accountability from their team members. It works out perfectly that way.  

Before you hold individuals accountable, though, you need to make sure that you have done your best to set them up to succeed. That means listening to their feedback and acting on it. It also means understanding the culture disconnects that are driving these problems in the first place.

(The entire month of Fully Staffed content for July 2022 was about accountability! Members, go back and take a look at it!)

Take this real-life example of blame versus accountability in action: 
Kids these days don’t know how to hold a conversation, they are glued to their devices. 

How can parents be accountable in this example? They should model the way for their children instead of blaming them. It takes courage, grit, and tenacity, right? Teach your kids to make eye contact, engage with them, and give them boundaries for device use while limiting your own too. Hold them accountable to it all!

The next time a team member points the finger at someone else, help them understand how to go beyond blame and empower them to help you fix the root cause. 

An exception for blame.

We fully, and rightfully so, blame organizational culture for causing expensive, wasteful, and frustrating (sometimes, even life and death) issues in recruitment, retention, quality of care, engagement of staff, customer reviews, and occupancy! And yes, BLAME is appropriate here! 

The culture of an organization drives the collective human behavior within it. You can guide your culture and encourage certain behaviors in your workforce. Or, you can let culture run amok and then fall prey to the various toxic tendencies that result, such as blame and bullying.

We can help fix the culture issues that are getting in the way of your organization being its best. You’ll see that by being strategic with your culture the beautiful values of teamwork, accountability, and compassion can flourish within your workplace, and the toxic values become a thing of the past. Interested in how we can help you make that your reality? Go to our website and then book a free consultation with us! 


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