Accountability in the Workplace


Does your cleaning business have a system of accountability in place? Do you know what accountability entails? Find out with these tips.

When some of you hear the word “accountability,” at least one of these few phrases will pop into your head. Some of you may instantly think of negative things like “Big Brother” or “lack of trust,” but hopefully those thoughts are few and far between. Others will see it completely differently, viewing accountability as “a great way to prove results.”

Here at CleanTelligent, one of the main things we are putting more emphasis on is accountability in the workplace. As I’ve looked into how companies can use accountability to improve the productivity of each employee, I’ve come up with four main different kinds of accountability:

  • Accountability to leader or manager
  • Accountability to team or department
  • Accountability to subordinates
  • Accountability to self

Each one of these types of accountability are vital to the success of your company. Taking the time to analyze each of them will help you to unleash even greater success for you and your company.

  1. Accountability to leader or manager

    Since this is the most obvious and commonly-used type of accountability, I’ll start here. Your productivity and success don’t just affect your job status — it also affects how your manager is perceived and measured as well.

    Making yourself accountable to your manager is a good thing because it gives you the opportunity to prove that you are a valuable, contributing member of your team and organization. Clocking in on-time and getting your inspections done promptly and honestly are two great ways to be accountable to your manager.

  2. Accountability to team or department

    In the world of business, anything you do will ultimately affect someone else down the road, especially your co-workers. Understanding your role in your organization will not only give you a clear sense of purpose in the workplace, but it should also help you realize how much your co-workers ultimately do rely on you to carry your share of the workload.

    Accountability between co-workers can do wonders for productivity, because it helps everyone on your team stay on the same page. Be the one that helps everything go more smoothly, or else your entire team (including yourself) may be held responsible.

  3. Accountability to subordinates

    It may catch a few readers by surprise to see this one make the list, but I think it is extremely important. While it is true that ultimately an employee is responsible for doing what their manager asks, it is also up to the manager to put that employee in a position to succeed.

    Great examples of this include giving clear direction — without being overbearing, of course — and giving employees the resources needed to get the job done. If one of your employees is struggling with one of their responsibilities — say, inspections that involve taking pictures — on a regular basis, it’s up to the manager to ensure that the employee is given proper training on how to do it and why it’s important.

  4. Accountability to self

    The last one, being accountable to yourself, is usually forgotten or ignored. It is easy to come up with goals or performance indicators that are designed to show others around you that you are doing your job well; personal growth (as an individual and as an employee) will only happen if you set private goals for yourself.

    One example of how you can use this principle would be to set clear, measurable daily and weekly goals for yourself. If your aim is to find more potential clients, you can set a number-based goal for how many up-for-bid contracts you seek out and find within the upcoming week.

The value of successfully communicating to employees the importance of accountability cannot be understated. While it can be easy to just count on everyone to get things done without have a system of accountability in place, a company will find a great deal more success when accountability becomes a major tenet that each and every employee accepts and understands.

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