Accountability is a word that seems to have become a common problem in today’s workplace. How and why did this happen?
Some people think accountability means accepting responsibility if something goes off course. True accountability is taking ownership of your work and bringing an “owner’s mentality” to work with you everyday.
What would happen if no one was held accountable for anything they did? It would be like opening a piñata at a 4 year old’s birthday party – a complete free for all. While that may be ok (this one time) for a 4 year old, we in the business world simply can’t operate in that fashion.
Gone are the days of “I just do what I’m told”, and operating in a vacuum of performing tasks without knowing why or how the outcome would affect the bottom line.
In today’s ever changing and fast paced environment, it is very important to know how your contributions fit in to the overall picture. If you don’t know – ask. As I tell people, NO question is a ridiculous question. This is how we all learn. Ask and you shall find out.
By taking the initiative and completing assigned tasks, you are showing you can take the ball (or in this case job assignment) and run with it. Good leaders always share the “bigger picture” with their associates, to help them feel engaged in the process.
One way to build your accountability and trust factor is to always meet your deadlines. If that isn’t feasible, let your manager know so a new schedule can be worked out. This keeps everyone on target for the deadline date.
Try to keep your assignments on track from start to finish. If you encounter difficulties along the way, take the initiative to get them resolved and move forward.
Be mindful of the chain of command: you are accountable to your manager who in turn is accountable to a partner.
Lend a helping hand to someone who has a question or point them in the right direction, even if it doesn’t pertain to you. You will earn the reputation as a person who gets things done, and people truly appreciate the assistance.
Review your work thoroughly and carefully. If you are writing a letter, step away from it for a moment and come back to it. You’ll be able to catch any errors that you may have otherwise missed.
Over time you earn the trust of your boss and coworkers. As their trust grows, the responsibilities bestowed upon you increase. Accountability is the name of the game.