top of page
  • Writer's pictureJonathan Bullock

3 ways to get rid of the blame game culture in the workplace

Almost every toxic boss I've had the misfortune of encountering was a true master at shifting blame. I've researched toxic leadership over the years and have found that blame is a significant element in producing a toxic environment, rather than merely a symptom. One of the cornerstones of excellent leadership is to create an atmosphere in which your employees feel confident and safe. They appreciate their leaders and feel trusted.

A blame culture within a company is detrimental to productivity and job quality. It shatters the social hierarchies of the workplace, dividing teams and destroying confidence. Instead of fostering cooperation, innovation and support, unfairly criticising employees makes them feel insecure and uninterested in their work.

How can leaders turn this around?

1. Model self-awareness

Transformation in the workplace starts with leadership. Establish a no-blame environment by displaying self-awareness and self-efficacy in your actions and words. You can't expect staff to assume authority and transparency if you don't embrace these values yourself. Understand yourself first, then embody the transformation you seek, and you'll be taken more seriously.

2. Follow-up is necessary to guarantee accountability

People must experience the transformation to a no-blame culture, but you can't be sure they have unless you follow this up! It's easy to talk about change, but putting it into action requires commitment and persistence. The culture of accountability must become ingrained so that each person is solely accountable. The role of the leaders is to model the desired conduct, develop follow-up methods and provide direction.

3. Address both the 'Why' and the 'What'

When introducing new concepts, such as a workplace accountability mindset, the 'why' is just as crucial as the 'what'. Introduce the concept of a proactive no-blame culture that eliminates blaming and justifications by going into depth about your vision and goal. Describe why this fresh direction is critical for the company and every employee. Begin with yourself; describe how you plan to take personal accountability, being as explicit as possible regarding your strategy and behaviour.

TAKEAWAY: Are you committed to putting an end to the blame culture? Review your own function, raise awareness – sharing your organisation's objectives and values – and engage your colleagues and employees to work towards the same goal. Your role is to inspire and increase engagement while serving as an agent for change.


bottom of page