Workplace Accountability

A Guide to Workplace Accountability (with 15 examples)

Accountability is a vital concept any professional must understand and practice.

It’s a cornerstone for effective workplace collaboration. Therefore, whether you are an employee or an employer, holding yourself accountable is beneficial in all aspects.

Doing so will help you gain respect and tremendously affect your performance and result. Workplace accountability can develop a culture of responsibility.

This article will shed light on a few examples of workplace accountability. Before diving deep into examples, let us first understand workplace accountability and what will happen if there is no workplace accountability.

What is workplace accountability?

Workplace accountability means all team members are accountable for their decisions, acts, performance, results, and attitudes. This increases work commitments, boosts employee morale which leads to high performance.

Someone who’s responsible is likely to keep their promises and commitments. And if things do not go as expected, they are ready to accept their shortcomings.

Now let’s imagine if stuff like this doesn’t exist.

What will happen without workplace accountability?

This will result in missed deadlines, uncompleted work, and inter and intra-team disengagement. When no one is ready to take responsibility for completing things and making decisions, there will be:

  • High employee turnover
  • Low trust levels
  • Low employee engagement
  • Poor performance
  • Micromanagement
  • Low job satisfaction
  • Undefined, unclear task priorities and project

In the long run, all of this will cost you high.

Workplace Accountability Benefits

On the other hand, here are a few benefits of workplace accountability.

  • It improves performance.
  • Boost employee confidence
  • Encourage progress measurement
  • It helps in building a long-lasting relationship.
  • Improve connection with others.

Now let me share some examples on this theme.

15 Workplace Accountability Examples

1. Instead of becoming reactive, you should be proactive

If you are accountable, you will take preventive measures instead of reacting to problems. It is because you are aware that you will be responsible for failure.

For instance, suppose you are a fleet manager of trucks. So, being proactive, you set up a procedure to check the condition of trucks before sending them off. In short, you should be proactive and try to prevent issues or put preventive measures to reduce its damage. On the flip side, a reactive person will wait for the damage to occur, and after that, they try to do damage control.

2. Take steps to solve problems.

At some point in your career, you will encounter a big challenge. Instead of running away from it, take the initiative to solve it. You can bring some possible solutions to the table.

Sometimes you become frustrated with problematic circumstances. However, don’t let them win. You should think creatively and utilize all your resources to solve the issue. When you don’t know how to solve the issue, you can at least keep a positive attitude and keep your peers in a loop to find the solution. When you have a proactive approach, you can brainstorm the solution by creating an action plan.

3. Be on time & ready to work.

It will be best to arrive at the office on time, ready to work. Whenever any problem arises, you can never be a valuable teammate if you jump ship or do not contribute. Your seniors will never count as a person whom they can trust when any tough condition at work occurs.

Therefore, show up in office meetings on time. You can even come ahead of your schedule. Prepare yourself to improve your skills and offer help to your co-workers when they need help.

4. You are receptive to feedback.

Accountability also means you are willing to admit you are lacking somewhere and ready to learn from your mistakes. At some point in life, everyone makes mistakes. It is completely fine. However, you should acknowledge your mistake and be open to giving and receiving feedback.

Understand that feedback and criticism are vital mechanisms of accountability. Remember that if you need to be ready to take feedback to realize what you did perfectly or did not do so well. Due to it, you will miss the chance to improve. Therefore, be receptive to feedback, even though, it is constructive.

5. Speak up when something is wrong.

Standing up for the wrong things is an accountability sign. It means you hold yourself accountable and be accountable to those who work with you. It means you share your opinion and work hard to find the solution when something is wrong.

For example, you should speak up against workplace bullying or any unethical behavior. Feeling accountable to peers and the community at the workplace is good. Keep in mind that there is always time to listen and to speak up. When during a meeting, a manager like an idea that is not yours but he thinks that you have presented it, speak up and take responsibility for it. When you act like this, it automatically builds trust within your team.

6Show maturity while dealing with disputes.

Keep in mind that having conflicts in the workplace is ok. However, how you deal with it is important. Remain cool whenever you feel you are right and someone else is wrong. Communicate with them even though having disagreements. Do not yell or insult your co-worker.

 Instead of doing it, you should think about how to do better in the future to avoid the same problem.

7. Take responsibility when you don’t succeed.

Everyone gets fail at some stage in life. However, you must take responsibility for your failure. If you are accountable, you will come forward and speak up openly about your failure. Besides, you will even explain where and what went wrong.

Remember, if you acknowledge your mistake, it does not make you weak. It is easy to pass the blame on someone else when you fail, but accountability means accepting responsibility for your failure and taking appropriate actions. When you own responsibility for your failure, these mistakes can even offer a way to get the solution to resolve the issue.

8. Pay close attention to the details.

Whenever you pay close attention to your work details, you make sure to deliver accurate and top-notch work. It means you should identify the important elements that help a project succeed. Besides, focusing on details ensures you are less likely to make mistakes. So, pay close attention to minute details. It will help you discover potential problems before submitting the task or project. Doing so will make you less prone to mistakes.

9. Keep a record of what you have done.

Keeping a record of what you have done will help you to hold yourself accountable. It means you can track each step along the way appropriately. In the long run, it will help to protect you.

For example, if the tax officer audits you, you can show them all the invoices and receipts. It will help you show them whatever income you have earned is genuine. If you do not have clear records, you won’t be able to keep yourself accountable for what you have done. It will result in a higher tax bill.

10. Develop strong communication skills.

Whether a startup or an already established company, each workplace emphasizes strong communication skills. Therefore, you must be able to articulate your thoughts and instructions properly and briefly. Therefore, your co-workers can easily learn it from you. Do not be afraid if you feel you are lost or have any confusion. Voice your fears. Some of your colleagues might help you in solving that.

11. Learn to apologize

Have you made any mistakes at work? It is completely fine. Accountability means accepting your mistake and apologizing. When you say sorry, it shows that you are accountable for your mistake. You acknowledge it and take responsibility for whatever you have done. Apologizing works best when you genuinely do it.

For instance, you forgot to complete an allocated task to you or feel bad about how the conversation ended. However, saying sorry means you hold yourself accountable, and in the same way, you are accountable to the people around you.

12. Be Honest

Acknowledging your mistake and apologizing for it is one thing, but do you really mean it? Remember, when it comes to accountability, honesty goes in hand in hand with it. Therefore, be truthful with your feedback, apologies, and praises. It is a good chance to build trust and show your colleagues that you genuinely care about their feelings. So, never miss this golden opportunity.

13. Have an accountability partner.

Keeping an accountable partner is one of the best ways to show that you are accountable. You should keep an accountability partner whom you can meet with regularly to discuss your goals and progress.  

However, you need to set goals for yourself in the first step. It is vital because if you don’t have any goals or roles decided, you can not hold yourself accountable.

Once you have set the goals, tell them to your accountability partner. Your partner will also tell you about their goals. After that, you should meet every week or month and report to each other about your progress. Besides, you can even set rewards and punishments linked with your goals, like you should pay your accountability partner $30 if you are unable to meet your goals.

14. Be open to learn

Are you receptive to learning? If not, you should develop this skill. If you want to be accountable, then you should listen to other people’s suggestions. It is because their suggestions may help you save yourself from future problems that could put your professional life to risk.

Keep in mind that there are always various ways to do a particular thing correctly. Therefore, if a person has knowledge about something you don’t possess, request them to share it with you. When you be open-minded and receptive, it can do wonders. Now, it is easy to coach you.

15. Follow the rules and regulations.

It is vital to follow the established rules and procedures. You will lose all respect, sureness, and trustworthiness if you don’t follow it.  Having rules and processes in place is an excellent way that shows how much accountability exists in the workplace.

In short, if each people starts to follow the rules and regulations, no employee will ever try to cut corners. They will always be mindful of rules and regulations. So, think about how you request sick leave. How and to whom do you hand over your project? As an accountable employee, you must know and understand how to operate within the workplace’s expectations. It demonstrates that you value and respect the management of your workplace. 

Remember, if you do not care about your workplace’s rules, it shows that you do not care about the work environment. It is a clear indication that you are not an accountable person, and no company would love to work with such an employee.  

So, all of these are a few examples of workplace accountability. Try to incorporate it into your daily life to hold yourself accountable.

Wrapping Up

Workplace accountability is a vital component that helps in building high-performing teams, trust environment, and an ownership culture.

We hope you enjoyed reading it.

Is there something that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

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