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How to encourage your employees to take ownership and responsibility for their choices

Responsibility is the obligation to do assigned tasks. The individual employee is responsible to perform his or her job duties proficiently. The supervisor is responsible for the productivity of employees or the lack of productivity. Accountability/ownership is answering for the result of one's actions or omissions. Employee accountability is when an employee answers for his or her actions accepting the consequences whether they be good or bad. Accountability results in rewards for good performance, as well as discipline for bad performance.
There are several ways to help you encourage your employees to take ownership and responsibility for their choices in the work place. The best way is to set an example. Try to lead by example. When setting an example for employees you should be on time every day and don't make a habit of leaving early. Your employees will notice if you are often times late and if you frequently leave early, which is not responsible choices in the work place.
Don't go out on weekends with employees or tell stories about your private life.

Remember you are setting the example. You shouldn't ask employees to perform tasks that are not work related such as picking up your dry cleaning or walking your dog. It is extremely rude and does not show responsibility what so ever.
If something goes wrong with a client or customer, you have to take the blame. If you are the boss, you are responsible to see that things run smoothly. If a problem does arise because of a bad employee, do not use that employee as a scapegoat. The employee's performance and productivity is your responsibility, if the lack of productivity causes a client/customer problem, you need to show that you are responsible and accountable for the problem.
Setting an example for your employees is just one way to encourage your employees to take ownership and responsibility for their choices.Another way is to make your expectations clear. People need to know exactly what is expected of them. If you want the employee to continuously improve their productivity, let them know.
When you see an employee take the initiative to solve a problem on their own or the employee lets you know of an idea they have that will help in the success of the company, let that person know how much you appreciate their input and contribution to the success of the company. Reward the person in ways that may be important to that individual such as more pay, time off or more vacation time.
Treat all employees with the respect they deserve. Employees shouldn't be treated like children; they are adults and should be treated as such. Don't bombard employees with rules of how they should conduct themselves. Instead set guidelines to ensure a fair, consistent work environment.
Spend time meeting with staff members regularly to discuss any issues they may be having or to answer questions and concerns. Use this time to also discuss productivity in the work place along with ideas to increase productivity. This will show employees that you care about the concerns that they may have.
You may also find communicating openly with employees about business information and procedures will encourage employees to act independently in the work environment. The more employees know will not only allow them to act more independently but will also help them to feel more accountable for their work.
Employees are only human and will make mistakes. Mistakes and unacceptable behavior should be addressed immediately. Talk to employees about solutions to solve any problems, listen to what they have to say.
Most importantly set an example for your employees by showing responsibility and accountability for your actions.

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