Workplace Accountability & Transparency for Employers & Employees

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson goes over the concepts of accountability and transparency. You'll learn about some of the basic standards and obligations that employers and employees have when it comes to accountability and transparency in the workplace.

Accountability and Transparency

The days of employees doing their work without asking questions and accepting whatever pay was given to them are largely over. Nowadays, people are more concerned with accountability and transparency.

When we speak of accountability, we'er talking about taking responsibility for a given situation or action. Transparency characterizes accessibility, especially with respect to information.

In this lesson, we'll go over some of the fundamental standards and obligations of accountability and transparency within organizations as well as potential areas of neglect.

Standards and Obligations

The standard expectations and obligations between employers and employees with respect to accountability and transparency can vary from organization to organization.

However, generally speaking, all employers expect the following from their employees:

  • Come in to work at a scheduled time
  • Complete daily duties as assigned
  • Work well with teammates to drive the company's mission
  • Report any violations they may come across
  • Honesty in communication

Conversely, employees expect that employers follow basic standards with respect to accountability and transparency as well, such as:

  • Make company policies, rewards, or consequences clear
  • Timely pay
  • Provide appropriate feedback with respect to performance
  • Take responsibility for leading a team of individuals and settling disputes

Clearly, some of these expectations are in one camp and not the other. The obvious example is that employees hold employers accountable for getting paid. The reverse simply doesn't occur.

However, other aspects are expected of both groups. Both employees and employers expect honest communication in one form or another. Employees may, for instance, want to know exactly where they stand with respect to a difficult situation in the workplace. Employers, as well, want to know why an employee may not be performing up to task. Honesty is expected in both cases for maximum mutual benefit.

Mutual Accountability

While an employer ultimately has the power to delegate tasks, hire, and fire, there is still an element of mutual accountability between employers and employees nonetheless.

On the one hand, employees naturally understand that they have a job to do and that they are accountable for their actions or neglect of their duties. If they don't hold up their end of the bargain, they may be rightfully dismissed.

On the other hand, however, employees may hold employers accountable for this action as well. For instance, if an employer uses the threat of job loss to penalize employees into compliance, this may be faced with backlash. Employees could simply quit or, more subtly, work far less efficiently than they're supposed to.


While the standards section identified numerous obligations with respect to transparency and accountability that are often looked after, there are many other standards and obligations that may be neglected. Examples of these include:

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