Employee Accountability Training Activities

by Kermit Burley ; Updated September 26, 2017

Hearing "It's not my job" from employees disappoints and frustrates every leader. Having accountable employees is a goal for all managers, yet it is consistently difficult to achieve. Training can have a dramatic impact on employee accountability, and a well-designed program is the key to success. Learning how to set expectations and measure success and providing employees with frequent communication are essential elements for excellent training.


One of the greatest examples of performance measurement is found in sports. Training activities that use sport as a means of measurement prove this point. Conduct an activity without keeping score. Bowling and golf can demonstrate this, as most employees will be able to compete. Be certain to have observers who discuss what they see. Many participants will attempt to keep score and create winners and losers. Discuss the importance of keeping score in business and how it motivates employees.


An activity that focuses on expectations is "Broken Shapes." Cut a plain piece of cardboard or similar material into numerous shapes of all sizes. Repeat this step to create three or four different sets. Divide the participants into groups and simply distribute the pieces to the group. Do not tell them what to do. Observe how the groups behave, and after 10 minutes, reconvene the groups for discussion. Most groups will report frustration. Review how expectations could have made this activity more successful. Repeat the activity, but explain what the group must create. Every group will achieve success.

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Communication Activities

Divide participants into groups of two. Have participants prepare a statement about something that is important to them. This statement should be about a paragraph long. Instruct one participant to read her statement to her partner, who then must repeat the main points to her satisfaction. The second participant cannot read his statement until the first trainee agrees he has repeated hers correctly. This activity demonstrates how difficult it is to communicate effectively.

Ensuring Your Activities Work

It takes effort to make training activities for employee accountability a success. Make certain that every participant in the program creates an action plan at the end of the training. This plan must include how to apply what he has learned once he returns to his job. Supervisors need to meet weekly with each participant to discuss progress on the action plan. At the end of the month, review progress on all action plans and make adjustments as necessary. Continue monthly meetings until all objectives are accomplished.


  • "Why Employees Don't Do What They're Supposed To Do"; Ferdinand Fournies; 1999
  • "Creative Training Techniques Handbook"; Robert W.Pike; 1989
  • "Emotional Intelligence"; Daniel Goleman; 1995

About the Author

Based in Bethlehem, Pa., Kermit Burley has been writing articles for over 30 years. His articles have appeared in "Training" magazine, as well as numerous company publications throughout the course of his career. Burley holds a Masters of Education in instructional design from Penn State and is certified as a trainer and instructional designer.

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