The word accountability can be intimidating because often, people think of it as a burden of blame. But it doesn’t have to be that way. People have to be accountable for their actions and decisions when they are at work because they ultimately reflect on how well you do your job. Accountability in the workplace strengthens transparency and encourages employees to work together and see how the improvement will benefit them.
What Does Taking Accountability Mean?
Taking accountability in the workplace is to do what is necessary to meet the expectations and deadlines set by yourself or others. Being accountable is striving to do your best at whatever you have been assigned or tasked with — taking ownership of it, or making it your job.
Why is Accountability Important?
Accountability allows us to hold each other accountable and take responsibility for our actions and the actions of those around us. It breeds a sense of commitment to our work and to meeting the expectations of others.
Additionally, accountability helps us grow more responsible and creates a culture of ownership where people don’t pass the buck or blame others when something is wrong.
Many people at work say “yes” but never follow through on their commitments which do not portray good examples of taking accountability. So, if there is any doubt whether you are accountable to the people around you, here are 21 accountability examples to help get you started:
1. Bring solutions to problems
Bringing solutions is proactive and shows that you take the initiative at work – something managers want from their employees.
People get frustrated with a colleague or boss who complains a lot instead of coming up with a solution that could help the situation, keep complaining about it.
You can complain as much as you want, but the problems will not go away until you start finding solutions.
Even if you don’t have answers to the problem, be positive and get involved with others to bring a solution.
2. Be proactive instead of reactive
It can be easy to get caught up in the daily grind and not realize that sometimes you might need to take a step back and reevaluate your situation. It’s important to recognize when things are going well but know when things aren’t working.
Take an honest look at yourself, your work environment, and those around you — this will help you figure out what needs changing so that you can move forward from a proactive perspective instead of being reactive.
3. Make yourself coachable
Best examples of accountability include the willingness to learn from others. Listen when people give you advice because they may help you avoid future issues that could cause trouble for your career and possibly your personal life.
Remember, there are always many ways of doing something right. So if someone knows what you do not know — it doesn’t hurt to ask them to pass on their knowledge or skills to you.
4. Take responsibility for your actions
Personal accountability examples include your willingness to accept responsibility after making a mistake and taking steps to resolve it.
It can be difficult at times as no one likes to admit they’re wrong — however, admitting your mistakes is to accept that you’re human. Use your mistakes to find a solution and learn from the situation.
5. Speak up when you see something wrong
Although it’s not always easy to speak up when you see something wrong happening at work, doing nothing about it is not acceptable either.
The worst thing that can happen is nobody speaking up and allowing certain situations to continue. Looking the other side when you see something undesirable happening at work without saying anything shows a lack of accountability.
Being accountable takes guts. It’s not just about accepting the status quo but also being willing to challenge what you think is wrong. It means you are brave to try to create a better working environment for everyone.
6. Accept criticism with grace
Accountability skills examples include accepting that you’re wrong and then grow from the experience. Everyone at some point in life does mess up things. Holding on to your ego makes it difficult to accept that you are not perfect.
Be sincere to yourself and listen to others whey they are giving you constructive feedback. It will help you to develop personally and professionally.
7. Say what needs to be said
Yes, accountability means taking a position when no one else is willing or ready to do so. At times, being accountable in the workplace means rising against everyone else and say something even if others don’t like to hear what you say.
It also means having the courage to do what is right, and necessary even if it means standing alone.
8. Stay focused on your goals
There are always distractions and pressures to deal with in the workplace. It takes a lot of patience, determination, and resiliency to remain focused when more things need your attention.
When people see that you can priorities your tasks effectively, they will respect your organization and give you space to work.
The way you handle yourself and work becomes a demonstration of what you stand for and how you do your work.
9. Communicate with others despite disagreements
People in the workplace will always have differences of opinions. It is difficult to remain calm when you feel that you are right and everyone else is wrong.
But, it takes a lot of maturity and patience to communicate your ideas and thoughts calmly, especially when there is a disagreement in the team.
When people see that you can deal with differences in a mature way, they will learn from your examples.
10. Be sincere when you apologise
When you are wrong, do not wait for the other party to apologize first before you do. Do not be afraid to say sorry if you realize that you are at fault.
If other people see that your apologies are genuine and not just lip service, they will learn from you.
11. Be Mindful of policies and procedures
People tend to lose respect, trust, and confidence when they do not follow established procedures or protocols.
Having policies and procedures in place is a great way to measure how much people take accountability in the workplace because if everyone follows them, there will be no one who tries cutting corners.
12. Always showing up
You will never be valued in your workplace if you are always absent from work. People who take accountability in the workplace show up on time for work and even ahead of schedule, especially if they have to attend important meetings or briefings.
It matters that you always show up to work because you are accountable for the things assigned to you, especially if they relate to your job description.
13. Confront problems directly
Being able to confront problems directly shows that you are not afraid to deal with tough challenges and shortcomings at work, which is a good thing.
When other people are avoiding dealing with their issues, show them that what they do is counterproductive.
14. Show initiative and leadership
There will always be times when the people around you are unable to do their jobs properly. Instead of letting your colleagues struggle or do the wrong things be accountable by showing initiative and leadership.
Try to do what you can and help them, even though you might not be getting any direct benefit.
15. Demonstrate transparency
Being accountable helps foster positive relationships between your colleagues, but it also shows that you are honest with yourself and others around you. When things go wrong in the workplace, and you are responsible. Just own up and move on.
If you have the right idea, your work colleagues may need to do their job well, make it available to them, and help out to bring about a positive outcome. Never intentionally hide anything that can halt team members from completing their work.
Read more: How do You Demonstrate Leading by Example
16. Share information with others
Sharing information with your work colleagues ensures that everyone is on the same page and working towards the goals of the company or team.
Being accountable helps improve communication between departments and leads to more effective teamwork among employees. When you communicate openly with others, they are more likely, to be honest with you in return.
17. Assist colleagues in completing tasks
Earning respect from your co-workers by being accountable means that you will also be available to assist them complete tasks when needed. By helping people around you to do their jobs better, you demonstrate your commitment to teamwork.
18. Resolve issues before escalate
One of the best practices for accountability is taking action to resolve issues before they escalate. When you let issues build-up, it’s easy for problems to get out of hand.
As soon as you identify a problem, take the time to resolve it before it gets bigger. You’ll be saving yourself a lot of trouble in the future if you resolve the issues before they escalate.
19. Be Honest and open with your superiors
Being accountable by being honest and open means that you get outstanding results without asking permission or waiting for approval every time you decide on an issue or situation that overlaps the scope of your responsibilities.
By doing so, you show how responsible and trustworthy you are as an employee who can be relied on at any time.
Read more: 13 Examples of Good Work Ethic
20. Be responsible for your team’s performance
Taking accountability also means being responsible for what happens with your team because it reflects on you.
When your team isn’t performing well, you take responsibility for the results. You can do this by showing your commitment by stepping up and work with everyone else to improve team performance.
21. Pay attention to details
Paying attention to details means checking everything you do or the things that are around you. It is a disciplined way of working because you check your work and look for potential flaws before handing it in.
If you have the habit of checking things carefully before handing them over, you’ll be more likely to avoid mistakes.
What does accountability teach?
Overall, accountability teaches us to be responsible for our actions and take ownership of our work. It also teaches us to be committed to our responsibilities and meeting the expectations of others.
When we are accountable, we learn to take pride in our work and handle difficult situations. Additionally, accountability helps us grow as individuals and strengthens our relationships with others.
What accountability examples can you share with us? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box below