How Is Being Accountable Important to an Employer?
In the business world, accountability and ethics go hand in hand. In fact, accountability is often included as a core aspect of a company’s code of ethics. As an employee, accountability means the willingness to answer for your actions. By taking responsibility, you send a powerful message to your employer about your character.
When you display accountability, you show your boss that you are a mature and responsible individual on whom he can depend. This makes him feel secure. He does not want an employee who refuses to own her conduct. For example, your boss may assign you to an important project, and it takes you longer than you expected to finish it. He checks on your progress, and you explain that you are still working on it. A more accountable action would be not to wait for him to inquire about your progress. Instead, go to him before the project runs late. Explain the delay and give him an estimate of when the work will be complete.
Saves Time and Money
When an employee fails to take accountability, time is wasted as those involved try to locate the problem. This time is better spent working instead of playing detective. If you are assigned to a team of four, and three team members work to move the project forward while the remaining member slacks off, the project may not be completed on time. If the irresponsible employee refuses to take accountability, more time is lost as your manager investigates to identify the problem. The employee’s refusal to be accountable results in wasted time, and ultimately, money.
Promotes Trust and Integrity
Trust and integrity are integral to forging strong business relationships. Your accountability shows that you have integrity and that you can be trusted. If your boss does not trust you, this may manifest itself in various ways, such as micromanaging or anxiety because he fears you will slip up. If you are accountable, his doubts about your ability to do the work are removed and he no longer feels the need to supervise you as closely.
Displays Effective Leadership
In the workplace, employees and managers are held accountable for their behaviors. A manager who takes accountability and leads by example is an effective leader that employees will follow.
Strengthens Ethical Decision Making
Customers stay loyal when they trust your communications and are confident that you have their best interests at heart. This is a major win for your employer because it enhances the company’s revenue and reputation. When all levels of the organization are educated on the company’s stance on ethics and accountability, all employees are aware of the values and principles that must be followed. When faced with decision making, they know that making the ethical choice is expected of them.
Why Do We Need Accountability?
There are numerous benefits when accountability is being implemented, four of the most crucial benefits are:
Accountability evokes a sense of concern about your workflow. This also makes you more attentive to the smaller details of your assignment/s, whatever they may be. Due to extended attention you put into a task, your end result is perfect – something you feel confident in. Your confidence in your plan, or strategy, can easily be the deciding factor to overcome any obstacle. Solve every problem and complete your job with the best outcome.
Sets up for Milestones
Accountability helps you understand your ability. It helps you track how close you are to reaching your goals, and allows you to keep track of the steps you must take before becoming stronger in a field while setting milestones for the future.
Accountability enables you to define what success feels like and set milestones to measure your progress along the way. You gradually step up to perfection.
Makes You Consistent
When you start doing something, many distractions steal your focus from achieving your initial goal. Many people fall for these temptations, ultimately losing sight of their goals and going astray from their primary objectives. Accountability will hold your hand, and prevent you from giving in to these temptations.
Keeps You Happy
When you are on the road to success, every milestone brings you happiness along with a sense of accomplishment. You feel as though a weight has been lifted from your back. You feel stronger and valorous. This makes your future experiences even richer and more pleasant.
How to Improve Accountability?
First of all, as a leader, it’s your job to understand what makes each of your employees motivated enough to complete a job with efficiency. Every employee has a distinct drive. They are motivated in different ways. One way may work for one employee while being completely useless for another.
It’s your job to find out what maximises the motivation for each of your employees, then use this information to position them for success. Some effective ways to improve accountability include:
Setting your expectations is crucial to measure performance and to also hold your employees accountable. When you set an expectation, they work towards reaching and overcoming it. People are always motivated by a challenge. Therefore, it’s a psychological way to set up a challenge which creates a window for motivation to jump in and also overcome a set target.
Provide Performance Feedback
It’s very important to provide your employee with actionable and regular feedback – both positive and negative. Positive feedback creates a sense of accomplishment in the employee and further improves their ability so they work harder to achieve their goals.
The constant contact they have with their superiors will strengthen their sense of being valued within the workplace. Factors like timeliness, attendance, day-off requests and efficiency at work should be used in the flow of performance feedback.
Establish a culture of trust
By establishing freedom at work, you can improve workplace efficiency and also accountability. This applies majorly on the present generation of work force. A survey concluded that the present generation of millennials feels more motivated to work when they are empowered to control and set up their own schedules of work. Also, allowing your employees authority over their work schedule is the first and initial step in having them take ownership of their work.
Accountability results in stronger adherence to compliance.
Accountability is crucial when it comes to employees being compliant with both established and new company guidelines, laws, regulations, and standards. People who understand the consequences of failing to adhere to specific guidelines are more likely to follow them, and entire teams that feel the weight of those standards will work together to meet them.
When members of an organization are held responsible for their actions, it creates a healthier, happier, and safer working environment where everyone can focus on work instead of dealing with colleagues’ inappropriate actions or behavior. This also can reduce the number of potential lawsuits or fines your company could be faced with.
Balancing Accountability and Autonomy
Earlier I mentioned the need to monitor employee productivity, but the idea is important enough to expand upon it. Just how do you track someone’s productivity? Do you monitor their every action, making sure they’re always on-task and getting results?
I wouldn’t advise it. Being on top of your employees like that is a recipe for disaster, and is likely to cause even more distrust in the workplace. No one wants to be micromanaged. Plus, the second you have to leave on business they’re back to their old habits. So it really doesn’t fix anything.
The key to accountability is to passively track work without being overbearing. Have employees create to-do lists (whether they write them down or you implement a software solution) for the things they’re directly responsible for. Then leave them alone. Autonomy can be a productivity booster in the right situation, and accountability means nothing without it.
When you’re micromanaging that’s not accountability. Part of accountability is responsibility. Let them make mistakes. If they’re slacking, give them feedback on it. If their lack of work is a consistent problem, that’s when you address it.
Accountability matters because not having it means no one can be held responsible. Creating accountability, then, is about creating a culture where people value responsibility, and where people understand that accountability involves a certain degree of autonomy. Accountability is important, but when implementing it into your workplace, make sure you’re giving employees as much as you’re asking from them.