In simple terms, accountability is a straightforward concept of answerability of an individual or a workplace for specific activities.
This is especially true in the case of an organization or a society. Without proper accountability, it will become more and more difficult for people to take responsibility for their actions and easier to start playing the blame game. This makes it easier for them to get away with anything while escaping all consequences.
This article delves deeper to discover the true meaning of accountability and why it is important both personally and professionally.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
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As mentioned earlier, accountability is the practice of taking responsibility and being accountable for your words, actions, successes, and failures.
For instance, the higher authority is usually responsible for delegating work to the other employees in a workplace. If this work is not completed by the preset deadline or does not meet the company’s standard, the person/team remains liable to the consequences.
This also helps to ensure the ethical behavior of the company.
One of the major benefits of incorporating accountability in the workplace is that it helps unify the entire company and brings them together to work towards the vision and achieve its mission. This includes the senior-most managers to even the entry-level associates. Each individual in the organization will be given a clear set of goals that they will be provided. With accountability, they will easily be able to propel themselves towards the company’s goals.
Accountability also calls to practice care and skills while sharpening your knowledge with your work. Even if there are any errors in tasks, the employee should be motivated to find a way through the problem and learn from their mistake.
Whether it is personal or professional, accountability helps to inculcate a sense of unity. While working in an organization would be to outdo the competitors with excellent performance quality.
To do this, you will have to make effective use of the company’s resources, the employees.
And the best way to do this is to assign them small tasks and give them a set of goals that they need to accomplish. Make sure the line of communication is very clear between you and the employees.
To curb potential mistakes and errors, you will need to handle tasks to competent employees. Even in case of a mistake, make sure you give the employee some space to correct their mistake and learn from it.
If you’re not going out of the way to keep yourself away from distractions, chances are you won’t be able to get anything done. There will always be something you would want to do more, and that false sense of security of having ‘tomorrow’ will lure you in.
The primary role and uses of accountability can be seen in 4 major aspects of a company, and they are as follows.
When you start teaching the habit of accountability at the workplace, it will also bring other healthy practices like transparency, honesty, integrity, etc. All these combined are what helps a company to grow and thrive even during a tough economy.
On the other hand, when certain employees are out of touch with these healthy workplace habits, they can decrease the company. They can often get clouded by dishonesty which can get the company into trouble.
However, when companies start to incorporate accountability, they can have good governance throughout the organization.
Integrity and transparency are the two important aspects that fall under accountability. These two elements help to ensure that all employees are on track with the company’s goals. Moreover, it will also ensure that all their tasks are delegated properly without abandoning them.
In case of an error, the hierarchy will help show who needs to be accountable and take the consequences.
Accountability happens to be a driving force in most legal organizations. This habit helps them keep up with deadlines, deliver high-quality work, and keep up with the company’s promises. All these components help to show that the company is legitimate in the eyes of higher authorities.
On the other hand, if the company constantly misses deadlines and fails to deliver what it promised, the authorities will seize their freedom and independence. This is because organizations are accountable for safeguarding their policies and maintain autonomy.
As mentioned earlier, accountability ensures unity among all employees of the company. When your company has a good management system to define all actions and rules, you can enhance internal controls, improving work performance.
By incorporating accountability, you can embed the company’s vision and mission into the employees, which will motivate them to work together. This will also enhance employee relationships which have a direct impact on teamwork. When this happens, you will get a better outcome on both individuals as well as team projects.
For instance, let us understand the use of accountability in an accounting firm.
In this case, the accountants will be responsible for the quality of the firm’s monthly and yearly financial reports. However, the reports might not be clear and transparent in some cases, as the employees may have manipulated them for selfish personal gains.
If an internal firm member has spotted this error or loophole, the accountant will be accountable for this error and will have to take the consequences.
And in worst-case scenarios where the reports have already left the company and have been spotted by an external account, the manager who sent the reports will be accountable. They will have to take responsibility for the actions of the employee and face the consequences.
In simple terms, accountability is where a person or a company needs to take responsibility for the outcome of a particular situation or an activity. Being accountable helps to ensure the balance and promises on the integrity of the company.
While incorporating accountability into your personal or professional life can be difficult, it is worth doing. The reason is that it can bring big benefits to you and the company in the long run.