It is so human for us to be proud and arrogant. The moment a rush of pride flows into our system, we forget humility. Moreover, what is the key to holding yourself accountable? It is humility. Because accountability is hard, and it takes a lot of courage and humility to be responsible for all your actions.
In general, we are accountable to everyone around us. Be it parents, husband, wife, children, manager, or yourself. The higher expression is that it is a two-way exchange system. It means you make a decision, take action, and complete an assignment because you are solely responsible for it.
However, responsibility and accountability are different things in nature. Trust is an internal emotion that motivates you to complete the work. You will conclude that work for personal values and the greater good. However, accountability, on the other hand, means that if something goes wrong with the assignment, you should find ways to fix it.
An accountability scenario in a workspace
Let’s take a suitable example here and demonstrate the value of accountability in every workspace.
The manager gave a task to an employee but something went wrong with the assignment even after the completion of the project. Anyhow, due to some reasons, the employee did not confront his/her doubts.
On the other hand, the manager gave the task to another employee for fixation. As a result, failure to face a difficult situation and incomplete management result in an unhappy employee because accountability is important. The employee did not confront the issue, and the management decided to shift the responsibility.
As mentioned earlier, holding anyone accountable is a two-way route. The employee should complete the task, and moreover, he/she should learn to finish it on time.
Also, the management must nip the problem in the bud before it spreads to the entire plant. A proactive solution will come handy. This means that both sides have to work in tandem with each other to achieve good results.
The employee can start by breaking all the barriers. Try fixing problems by taking help from the concerned person. As far as management is concerned, they need to look at the factors mentioned below:
- The problem posed requires training
- A thorough explanation of the project
- Measuring the variables of performance
- Skillset improvement
- Inner behavioral coaching
So, measuring all the factors after a problem can account for success. Next time if you face issues in a particular project. Ask yourself what went wrong.
Look up to your leaders and don’t hold anything back. Make sure you hold yourself accountable for everything you did. Eventually, the problem will be solved.
Accountability is vital for every workspace, especially for better results and collective growth. Let’s see, what happens when the problem is solved and the work is completed.
The role of expectations
Once the training is over, and everything has been explained thoroughly, the culture of ownership will definitely set in. However, then comes the turn to communicate the expectation regarding a project. Here communication in terms of performance will play a significant role.
Now, a sales employee will be clear about the strategies, skills, and how to meet the deadline. However, the manager’s expectation of meeting the delivery can yet be unknown. Because working towards the result is one factor that will judge your performance. Delivering a report these days is so different from the past.
Before delivering on the manager’s expectation, ask yourself these questions:
- What kind of formatting will be required for the report?
- The delivery is expected at the end of the week or after thirty days?
- What will go into the report?
- Are there any specifics that have to be followed while generating the report?
The process should be clearly defined, but you need to ask yourself some questions and see if they meet all the expectations. Imagine the amount of responsibility shouldered unto you if the reports are to be sent to three different managers. Each is having its expectation with the report.
Elements of clear-cut expectations
The critical factors for expectations are decided on the grounds of when, how, what and why. When is the report submission due and on what time? If you are aware of this standard, you will focus on the result and report side by side. Remember accuracy and speed will be your major elements.
Other key factors will be inclusive of performance measuring metrics, the standard of performance, the face of the result. In other words, if an employee knows what exactly is supposed to be done, how to meet the expectations, knows how the performance will be measured – the expectations will be clearly defined.
In the case of the sales report, the probable expectations will be accuracy and timeliness. Efficiency is easily measured on the grounds of information and formatting. On the other hand, timeliness clearly states that the report is due at the end of the five days on the manager’s desk. So make sure that all the expectations are set before a report is delivered. This way, an employee will be accountable until the end.
Communication is an effective tool
Accountability is only successful when a value is added to a project, and the employee has a sense of that project — clearly indicating that communication has to be healthy. Communication will help you meet all the expectations.
It is vital to communicate and explain why an employee matters to the organization — in turn, creating the expectation that every employee will make a significant contribution. It will ultimately help all of them work successfully.
Nowe, how can we attach value to an employee and the project consecutively? By making ownership an integral part of the system. In other words, accountability means that you are asking them to own every responsibility.
So, if you want them to act like an owner, let them be one first. Engage with the team. This means that you have to engage with everyone and not just one person. So that they don’t lose the motivation to work effectively, after all, the importance of accountability will be only realized once all these expectations are met.
Communicating even the tiniest bit of information is necessary for performance-driven results. It can be in the form of feedback, continuously sharing information on the project, refining the company’s ethics, improving decision-related discretion. To achieve the desired result, every piece of information should be delivered carefully.
Creating a culture of accountability
Holding an employee accountable means a specific culture has to be designed inside the company. The steps to create accountability will sound familiar and comfortable. However, the problem is that of ignorance. The subject should be made clear first and then the rest follows.
A clear understanding of any project among employees is essential, and of the expected result too. All team leaders repeatedly mention the same to their team over time. So, as a team leader, it is your responsibility to make the project clear.
An individual can be skilled and professional but setting clear standards and providing sufficient training is necessary for the company. It will help the employee and the company achieve greater results.
The employee should know what he/she is accountable for. This means that you have to be clear about your expectations because any lack of clarity will lead to poor performance.
Mahatma Gandhi once said that be the change you want to see in the world, so if you want your employees to know the importance of accountability. Bring some changes in the workspace. Changes can alter their mindset and create a smooth workflow.
Avoid conflict, negative mentality, and offer guidance, provide resources, affirm concerns, and set a goal. Moreover, accountability will help bring a positive change in the working space and everybody will work efficiently.