Accountability is the obligation of an organization or individual to accept responsibility for your actions. As an individual, you must be held accountable for your own actions. As an organization, you must have individuals that are honest and highly regarded in the business world. When people are accountable for their actions and decisions, they can achieve great things in their business.
When employees are in control of all aspects of their decisions they tend to take ownership in all that they do and they take greater pride in their work. When management dictates all policies with no personal contribution by the employee that decreases accountability in the workplace. Many effective organizations work more smoothly when all employees feel they have influence.
Define – Take the time to define goals and results you want employees to deliver, which helps them have some control on how they choose to deliver those results.
Honesty – When you are accountable for your part in the company, you choose honesty when discussing issue with managers. High quality businesses that are successful have employee-manager relationships that are open and honest.
Trust – Honesty is important, but trust within your business is paramount. Many employees feel that they are not sure that hard effort will be rewarded. Others think that leaders may take advantage and question their motives. Employees also believe that leaders may take credit for actions they have not done. These factors inhibit the growth of accountability in an agency.
Communication – Leaders must be able to effectively communicate with their staff to ensure they are all aware of what they are being held accountable for in the business world. They must be able to ask, listen, and tell to be successful.
Feedback – Along with communication, feedback is extremely important to any organization’s success. Tough feedback can be hard for managers to give to employees, but it is necessary for growth. Including positive feedback is a way to get them to notice and to lessen the negative feedback. Feedback should be clear and direct, as vagueness will cause improper delivery.
Set High Expectations – Make sure to set your sights high. Others will take their lead from you and set their own goals even higher. These high goals will help customer service and business to improve overall.
Keeps you Grounded – Accountability keeps you grounded. You may have a 5 year goal, but it is important to focus on today and what you are going to do to make that goal a reality. Partner with people who are successful and challenging. You will reach small goals and in the end some big goals.
Learn – Learn from the successes and failures of others. Failures give us experiences that can help us to improve and although it may be painful, it can improve your business exponentially. Finding a mentor is a way to get valuable opinions and real-life ways to avoid pitfalls and failure. Accountability makes it easier to identify things that may be challenging that may not have made it on your radar.