As this year is winding down, many leaders are thinking about accountability in their workplace. Accountability in the workplace, and on a personal level, can dramatically impact the productivity of the workforce in every organization. Accountability is not goal achievement. Accountability is essentially a core value for each person and should be a fundamental pillar of a company’s culture. Being responsible is actually how an individual chooses to take action as the owner of achieving their own accountability standards.
Also as has probably been demonstrated already, intentions are not accountability. Remember how New Year’s resolutions are not kept very long after being declared on New Year’s Eve? You hear colleagues and family members all explaining the circumstances of why they didn’t achieve those resolutions. It sometimes becomes more important to justify the story than the outcome itself. This is a demonstration of personal non-accountability. Repeatedly, you find the outcome was not fully investigated for proper resource or time allocation, as well as a valid regimen to adhere to, achieving the final end.
In organizations, why does accountability seem to vacillate or falter entirely? These are some of the reasons:
- Accountability is assumed to be a ‘suit’ you wear at the office. It is not appreciated as an authentic principle to be embodied at all times.
- Accountability is not respected as part of the company’s identity, consequently, is demonstrated when it is convenient.
- Informal leaders within a group defer to those with company status or power. You will hear comments such as, “I’m not the boss. It’s not my decision.”, or “I can’t make that level of decision.” True leaders are those that can build the capacity for action, motivate others to commit; and be accountable for the sum of their actions.