Before you think of accountability or being accountable in what you do, there’s a need to have thought of your input which is what you do like a task while your output is a result you can actually achieve.
What is Accountability?
To be accountable means to be responsible or answerable to someone for something. It involves taking responsibility for your own actions and being able to explain them. Accountability comes in many forms and is used in all aspects of our society.
Being Accountable for Your Own Actions
Being accountable for our own actions means that we would be able to explain to someone why we did something. We would also take responsibility for the outcome. If we were to jump off of a high wall, we would be accountable to ourselves for the fact that the laws of gravity will take over and bring us to the ground.
If we act in a way that affects others, we will be held accountable to those other people for the effect that our actions had on them and would be asked to explain and stand responsible for that effect. You can also be held accountable for the actions of a group of people or for the actions of others.
Every action that we as a people make is accountable to some laws whether it is the law of gravity or law of decency or a law of the criminal justice system. If we cause harm to someone else or to someone’s property, we can be held accountable for our actions.
The criminal justice system and our court systems were enacted to enforce the laws of accountability and responsibility. For those who refuse to be accountable, there are ways for others to seek that accountability and for investigators to learn how and why something was done.
This in turn helps those who want to hold the offending party responsible.
What are Accountability and Integrity?
Accountability and integrity are some of the most important values individuals can exercise in the workplace.
Accountability is being responsible or answerable for an action. Integrity describes an individual who makes the choice to commit to honesty before she is faced with choosing between right and wrong.
Without either value in the workplace, the culture within the company is at risk for poor organizational development.
How can you be Accountable?
When employers and employees are mutually accountable to each other, employees can trust that their work will be rewarded appropriately. Accountability between both parties along with leadership integrity can help provide employees with a sense of empowerment and belonging.
Integrity allows employees to not fear retribution for their honest opinions and ideas. Accountability allows employees to exercise autonomy with the expectation that they will feel more invested in the company and, therefore, will perform better, more efficiently and more creatively.
When employees actively practice accountability and integrity in the workplace, they tend to feel more pride and ownership in the company.
Managers, however, must set the stage for this to happen by treating all employees as valued members of a team who each have an integral role in helping the company achieve its goals.
It is believed that when employees feel pride in their place of employment because of the accountability and integrity practised, they are more likely to work more efficiently, reduce risks and have better loss control.
Managers acting with integrity and practising accountability are more likely to project a sense of stability to employees, which is important for employee retention, according to the Payscale website.
Along with a sense of stability, employees with bosses who have integrity and are accountable to those who work for them know that their managers will share company information regarding goals. When a company does not provide its employees with stability through accountability and integrity, there is a higher chance the culture will be one of fear and that every employee must fend for herself.
Additionally, an unstable work environment may give employees the impression that their boss plays favourites, does not encourage professional growth and creates an environment that does not promote high performance and productivity.
One of the best ways to lead is by example. If management allows its leaders to act without accountability and integrity, other employees will follow suit. The leaders of a company serve as the foundation of a company, so it is vital that this foundation is built on accountability and integrity.
This is because a manager with weak values is more likely to produce employees who emulate his unwanted values.
Conversely, a company supported with strong values will produce a culture that has an environment that performs well.
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