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The Blame Game: Why Playing the Blame Game Is Hurting Your Team’s Performance and what are solutions to it

Accountability is hard to find in the workplace, but it is a highly important quality of high-performing employees and teams. Lack of accountability can lead to the blame game, ultimately keeping your team from reaching its full potential.

Stopping the blame game culture is imperative to meet your organizational growth goals and keep your teams engaged and highly productive. You can foster a responsibility and accountability culture in your team with just a few steps. Learn more about the blame game, its effects, and the best solutions here.

Understanding the blame game.

Failures are a part of everyone’s life. We are humans, we make mistakes, and it’s human nature to accuse ourselves of the mistakes that are done. It is mainly because no one wants to look irresponsible and bad. Therefore, people start playing the blame game to avoid damaging their careers.

The condition usually makes people blame another employee for escaping the situation. Anyone doing this is into the blame game.

Some blame game cases are more obvious than others. For instance, if someone denies their involvement in the process and implicates someone else blatantly. Some of the key signs that can indicate the problem include:

  • Pointing fingers at others and not accepting mistakes
  • Focusing more on the problem instead of solutions
  • Excluding some team members
  • Denying personal responsibilities

Stopping the blame game and learning accountability is a must to ensure any team’s optimal performance and productivity.

How blame games can affect your team’s performance.

A blame game shouldn’t be a strategy to inspire your team to work hard. The matter is just the opposite. It is because whenever a teammate or leader starts communicating, it can be costly for your overall business. The situation can make the team feel ashamed, inadequate, and disengaged, ultimately affecting performance.

The blame game can affect your team’s performance in multiple ways, including:

·         Toxicity in the work environment

When a cycle of blame games develops in a team, it will shortly spread across your organization. Eventually, the blame will become rampant in daily conversations and dialogues because the precedent has been set to shift the burden instead of accepting it.

·         Slower communication

The blame game can make some teammates feel undervalued and disrespected. They will ultimately withdraw themselves from communication both emotionally and mentally. The problem can affect the information flow in your team, which is generally the lifeblood of a positive work environment.

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·         The best people may quit.

Nobody wants to work with a company that dilutes its efforts due to the blame game. Instead, people prefer working in an organization that values their efforts, mental well-being, and peace at work. Therefore, with a negative environment at the workplace, it won’t take long for your best employees to quit.

·         A halt in the project’s forward momentum

Teamwork is all about “we and us,” and project collaboration will be at a halt without proper communication. The blame game can discard all the engagement and work efforts, due to which meeting project deadlines may become harder.

In addition, the blame game can also reduce innovation and growth.

Best ways to stop the blame game in your team

It is imperative to stop the blame game in your team to improve overall performance and productivity. Here are a few steps that you can take in this regard:

1.      Spread awareness about the harmful impact of blame and excuses

Spreading awareness about the possible effects of blame and excuses is one of the first steps to take here. Blame and excuses can trigger negative thoughts like helplessness, anger, powerlessness, etc. People start denying their responsibilities and present themselves as victims.

On the other hand, replacing blames and excuses with a sense of accountability can lead to positive thought patterns such as autonomy, self-reflection, and self-confidence. It will also make you feel happy and satisfied.

2.      Learn to spot blame culture in the team.

The next essential step to stop the blame game is spotting it. You can evaluate your business or team to see if there are any obvious signs. Common signs include:

  • Pointing fingers at one person or a specific group
  • Casting blame on any third-party
  • Pitting employees, gossiping, and having side conversations about someone.
  • Frequent hesitance and cover-ups to acknowledge mistakes.

If you see any of these signs, address them quickly.

3.      Don’t blame others; adjust your mindset.

Blaming others is quite natural. However, you can decrease its frequency by improving your work culture. In case of a poor outcome, avoid blaming others. Instead, focus on learning opportunities and ensure to do things better next time.

Shifting this mindset is certainly difficult at the very first. However, you can make everyone learn it gradually.

You can also change your work culture by sharing your mistakes as a leader. This practice will give your teammates the confidence to be accountable and learn to give their best in the tasks.

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4.      Assign clear roles and set expectations accordingly

Some team leaders or managers are reluctant to delegate because they don’t want the tasks to be performed incorrectly. Even though mistakes can happen, you can significantly lessen their frequency by setting clear roles and expectations.

Assigning specific roles will give your teammates detailed instructions on what they are accountable for. They can better access tools and resources to complete their assignments accordingly. You can ultimately increase the chances of getting everything done rightly and timely.

5.      The follow-up to ensure accountability

People usually live the change, and you can only know about that if you follow up. Talking about a change is easier; however implementation process typically requires understanding, passion, and follow-up.

In addition, following up can also develop a culture of responsibility in which everyone is personally accountable for their actions.

So, you must assign a team leader to check how the team is performing and track their progress.

6.      Encourage empathy

Empathy is imperative to develop a no-blame game culture in the workplace. Always remember that this culture can be developed by understanding human complexities.

You must acknowledge that mistakes can happen. You should use these mistakes as data to make better decisions in the future instead of moral failings.

Final Remarks:

Overall, avoiding blame game culture is imperative for eradicating toxicity from your team. In addition, this culture will also foster better performance and improved productivity.

Fun Fact

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