Depending on who you ask, accountability may have a wide variety of definitions. However, when it comes to business, its fundamental meaning remains the same – doing what you say you are going to do and getting your team to do the same.
Personal accountability stems from integrity and the ability to carry out self-introspection with utmost honesty and sincerity. It is all about holding yourself to the same standard as you would hold someone else, especially when you’re spending your resources on them. In colloquial terms, accountability is keeping your word.
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If you are successful in holding yourself and your team accountable to the commitments you have made. You are more likely to get things done on time. Without being accountable, you are also going to drop the ball. This will not be a good reflection on you and your team. Accountability pushes you to do more.
Individual and collective accountability also helps you become an honest person with robust integrity. It enables you to keep most of your promises and meet or exceed the commitments you have made. That develops your character and you are recognised as someone who is trustworthy – an individual people can rely on.
Being accountable isn’t just for the sake of hitting your business goals, it also has a far-reaching positive impact on how people around you feel about you and respond to you. If you build your reputation as someone who is known to keep his or her word, people are more likely to be loyal and rally behind you.
Usually, at work, a lot of time gets wasted due to procrastination and tons of distractions. But when you are committed to the promises you have made, you are more likely to keep your focus on what needs to be done. Accountability allows you to achieve more in less time turning you into an employee with an amazing work ethic.
There is no rocket science here. When you’re working hard, making most of your time and resources, and holding yourself and your team members accountable. You will increase your productivity which means better appraisals, increments and salary raises.
When you are focused on completing the task within the promised time frame, you will automatically try to find out ways you can increase your work efficiency. This will help you in identifying better and more effective solutions. Also, this will contribute towards acquiring qualitative experience which is invaluable across all industries.
While it’s easy to talk about accountability, it’s not that easy to implement. You’ve to battle against your developed habits and mend your ways in a fundamental manner. So you get to the point where you can hold yourself accountable. Moreover, during a normal workday, there is a range of distractions such as gossiping, longer breaks, and unnecessary and unproductive meetings. So, this usually goes unnoticed and eats up your time. This directly affects your productivity and ability to be accountable.
That’s why it’s a good idea to bring in an accountability partner, a person who can keep a regular check on you. This person will also encourage you to complete the required tasks within the committed time frame. As far as your team is concerned, assign the tasks in such a way that there’s an interconnected dependency. It means that “Person B” can’t proceed until “Person A” finishes the first part. This initiates a chain reaction as there’s inherent accountability built into this method.