Accountability In Our CultureSep 15, 2021
As individuals and communities, we have the responsibility to hold ourselves accountable for our goals and actions. Accountability is something that has received more attention in the media over recent years, forcing companies and individuals to think about their actions within various areas of our culture and lives. Here we’re going to take a deeper dive into accountability and the ways in which you can work to hold yourself accountable in every aspect of your life.
What is Accountability?
Before we can dive any deeper into this topic, let’s take a look at what defines accountability. In its simplest terms, accountability is either being assigned or taking responsibility for something you have done or need to do. This can be applied to almost any aspect of your life, and as far as diversity awareness, inclusion, and equity within organizations, it’s something that needs to be considered more often to create a better working culture. In your day-to-day life, accountability can be as simple as ensuring you finish the basic tasks that are needed to complete your job role or look after your family. However, in the greater scheme of things, accountability could be apologizing for your actions when you have offended someone or done something that’s not acceptable within our culture.
Accountability as Individuals
When you are personally accountable for something, you take full responsibility for a situation or outcome. This is something that current or aspiring leaders particularly need to consider, as when you make decisions that may impact your team, you need to be willing to hold yourself fully accountable for them. Accountability forces you to learn from your actions and choices and take full ownership for any situation you are involved in. You’ll have to see through a choice from start to finish, regardless of whether things are going your way or not. Instead of blaming others for the outcome, you accept that you did your best with the knowledge and experience you had.
Individual and team accountability often have some crossovers, and especially for those working within leadership positions, you’ll have to be willing to take responsibility for the whole team. However, you’ll likely find that you develop better working relationships by taking accountability, and you’ll foster a more supportive community. By encouraging everyone in your workplace to become more accountable, you’ll find they take pride in their work and develop leadership skills. Accountability helps to build trust within workplaces and relationships, and you know that you can depend on other people to do what they say they will. Accountability can actually increase an individual’s chance of being promoted, as they are often seen as the more reliable members of the team.
Accountability Within Communities
Accountability plays a huge role in communities today and can help to improve relationships and make a community a safer place to live or work. Diversity awareness, inclusion, and equity is something that all organizations need to consider, but without accountability, it can be impossible for them to stick with the changes they’ve promised to their community. As a workplace, there’s no point telling your employees that you will be making changes within your organization, only to go back on your word and not follow through with your promises. Community accountability can ensure that leaders and executives are forced to follow up their words with actions, as they are held accountable by their community to make these changes.
There are a few reasons why individuals and communities lack accountability, but in most cases, this is rarely something that’s done on purpose. Oftentimes, companies set unrealistic goals for themselves, which are impossible for them to uphold. They may have a poor strategy to reach these targets and limited resources on offer. When an organization doesn’t make everyone’s roles and responsibilities clear, this can lead to a lack of accountability and team members shifting the blame between each other. By striving to all work together and hold each other accountable for our individual actions, a workplace can create an environment that makes it easier for individuals to achieve their goals.
Striving to Be More Accountable
Regardless of your position within your current company, we should all be striving to become more accountable in our day-to-day lives. The first step for anyone working in any position within a company is to fully understand your job role. If you don’t understand what is expected of you, it’s impossible for you to hold yourself accountable for your actions. For anyone who isn’t aware of the goals they should be achieving within their role, ask for a clear job description which outlines your assigned tasks. If you are working in a leadership position, it is your responsibility to share tasks between your team, so the expectations for their work are extremely clear.
Honesty is one of the key traits that goes alongside accountability. While we don’t always want to admit we’ve messed up or done something wrong, this is the best way to hold ourselves more accountable. Apologizing when you do something wrong instead of becoming defensive is the best way to try to remedy a situation, but it’s something that so many of us struggle with. We all go through highs and lows in life, and by acting with respect for yourself and others every day, you can work to hold yourself accountable for any mistakes you make. By making changes as needed in both your personal and professional life, you can ensure you are always on the right track by trying to do the best you can in every situation.
Accountability is something that we encourage any organization to discuss further with their employees. Especially for those in leadership positions, it’s important to hold yourself accountable when needed, which will increase the respect your team has for you. When we work with individuals who are willing to hold themselves accountable for their goals and actions, you’ll find that together you can achieve more and create a more encouraging culture within your organization.
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