An organization’s brand is built by making promises and then keeping them.
An individual’s reputation is built the same way. If an employee has accepted the responsibility of doing something, then he or she needs to be held accountable for doing it. If you say you are going to do something, then do it. And you both have to be held accountable.
If you provide a negative consequence to an employee for not doing something and you have no negative consequences for doing the same thing, then you will lose credibility and the respect of others. On the other hand, if you don’t hold an employee accountable for not doing what was supposed to be done, you will also lose credibility and the respect of others.
In an effective team, there is accountability. The negative consequence for you could be that you have to apologize to your entire office or region or company when you don’t do what you said you would do. You might have to lose your bonus. The negative consequence for your employee might be a formal, written reprimand or a decrease in bonus or a demotion.
Of course, in holding people accountable you also will have opportunities to provide positive consequences both for yourself and other people. That part is important as well.