Accountability at the workplace – Ask someone to monitor work

by Aripriya Basu September 23, 2020
Accountability at the workplace

Le Tom is responsible for the Facebook ad campaign.

Le Tom is accountable for the Facebook ad campaign.

What is the difference?

Or, is there any difference at all?

In everyday life, not so much maybe, but when it comes to business, there is a huge difference. The difference is simple but profound.

Responsibility: Tom’s duty to get the job done

Accountability: Tom’s capability to take ownership of the job done

Needless to say, companies prefer the latter type of employees.

Truly accountable employees take ownership of projects and see it through. They don’t need managing and pushing around. In short, they are the leaders, A-performers, and are always motivated to get things done.

However, it’s not possible to appoint all A-performers in an organization.

Where would you find all these leaders to join in an organization right away?

You might also be interested in knowing how to manage career growth during an econimic downturn.

But since accountability at the workplace is crucial, some arrangements have to be made. Thus, if the companies cannot hire leaders they create them!


Though accountability at the workplace of course. Accountability at the workplace is crucial for the success of an organization. But there is so much more to it.

Enhanced performance under supervision

Though it may sound mean to a few, people perform better when monitored.

Think about it, do you exercise with the same energy alone, as you do with your trainer around?

Your forty-five seconds of planking goes onto a minute, though forced, you get it done, right?

But why is this?

It’s for the observer effect or the Hawthorne effect. Back in the 1950s, Henry A. Landsberger conducted a series of experiments that proved that people work better when watched.

The same principles apply during accountability at the workplace. The moment you know that you are going to report to someone, your attention to detail, zeal, and general productivity improves.

Committed to commitments

Do you know what is the most common new year resolution?

It’s going on a diet!!

All of us have committed to this goal at least once in our lives. But alas, our equator region is still thicker than our wallets.

It started off on the 1st of January with 45 minutes of exercise, cutting on carbs, and a promise to have a healthy lifestyle.

The 2nd and 3rd January was spent to the same end. But from 5th January onwards you might have felt like cutting down the workout regime from 45 to 30 minutes.

Two extra pieces of fries gave way to a whole burger platter. By February, the entire fitness regime went out of the window.

Sounds similar? Been there done that, huh?

Well, you failed because you could not commit to your commitment.

Accountability at workplace strikes at this very practice. Once you promise to deliver a certain target, you are made to do so.

There is so “will do it later”

Rooted in reality

Le Tom may be an A-performer, but can he manage two websites redesigning and one app designing in a day? No probably.

In fact, it’s quite impossible. But he might be overly optimistic about it.

This is where accountability at the workplace can be effective. His project manager might tell him to keep his goal realistic.

Accountability at the workplace is constantly reinforced by a good network of people.

For instance, the manager can ask Tom to focus on the current goals in hand, like the app designing for example.

Overall accountability at the workplace can help Tom prioritize his work while keeping his performance quotient high.

Honest feedback

You might think a news ticker on the website is perfect to highlight the important news about a client.

Your project manager might feel that a bold and highlighted header is enough to convey the news. Your client might agree with your project manager.

But what would happen if you had taken the decision on your own without any accountability at the workplace?

You would have to redo the work all over again killing effective man-hours. When you take crucial decisions it’s usually tinted with what you think is right.

Your idea, knowledge, and experience may back that decision. Not that it is wrong, but it never hurts to take a second opinion, and thus personal accountability at work must be monitored.

Accountability at the workplace will raise important questions like “why is the news ticker important? “Can we not use some other form of broadcast?”

These questions refine the end result and ultimately, make the client happy.

Lessons hard learned, or maybe not

Failure is the best teacher, Surely, you have head about it. But do you like failing?

Who can say “Oh yes I failed, and that was an amazing experience!” But failing in life is essential to growing. It teaches some hard lessons which come in handy down the road.

But wouldn’t it be better if someone could take the fall for you?

Is it possible? We, of course, and that is where accountability at the workplace becomes effective.

Your teammates, colleagues managers may have committed similar mistakes that you are planning to commit.

So instead of tipping over new mistakes, learn from the ones that have already been committed. Why dig new potholes when you can hear the tale from others who hit the ground anyway?

Mountain out of a mole

Errors spread like Chinese Whisper. A small mistake in alignment in the backend might turn out to be a huge flop on the front end and then you will have your client losing his mind.

Is it not better to have a few extra pairs of eyes to point out these mistakes in the first place? Accountability at the workplace can help you with that too.

Your manager (though might yell) will show you the errors made in the designing right before the project submission.

Your teammate might point out the mistake while you are making it. They are all your accountability partners, always there to point out the errors.

Sweating over small stuff can be avoided if you have accountability at the workplace. Your teammates will make you feel better when you suffer from anxiety owing to things that really don’t matter.

Challenges will come and go, but accountability at the workplace will help you ace them with not much load placed on your shoulders.

There are many benefits of accountability in the workplace, but these are the most basic ones that make accountability desirable. Accountability at the workplace is not about having managers pushing you over the limit.

Contrary to popular opinion accountability at the workplace is not about punishment and micromanaging. It’s mostly about help and assistance until you learn to manage your work and become a leader for yet another.


Why is accountability at the workplace essential?

When employees are accountable in the workplace they take action for their behavior, decision, and performance. Additionally, the quality of the total work improves to a great extent, and a general environment for growth sets in.

Accountability at the workplace reduces the number of errors committed at work since there are a few eyes monitoring the work. Finally, accountability partners keep each other rooted to reality eliminating the chance of over-committing.

How to be accountable in the workplace?

Accountability at the workplace can be introduced in many ways. Recognizing one’s mistakes, involving in the goal-setting process can be ways to be accountable in the workplace. Additionally, for employees to be accountable, the management must lay out clear goals provide them resources necessary to meet the goals, and finally, give proper feedback for their work.

Does accountability leads to success?

A short answer to this is yes. When people are accountable, they take ownership of their decisions. Whatever they do, bad or good the onus falls back on them. People tend to put in their 100 percent, evaluate options, and choose only the best.

The end product, though might not be ideal at times can teach the individual a lot of important lessons. Eventually, the person learns in their own right and becomes a leader who is capable of teaching others. Organizations hire such individuals since they can teach others and contribute to the growth of the firm.