Accountability or Responsibility: Difference and Impact
Responsibility and Accountability in management have been used synonymously while discussing the leaders’ duties towards their employers. However, these two terms are distinct and equally important in the workplace. Accountability is gathering a general viewpoint about the outcomes of any action applied to the situation. The person taking action will voluntarily and without hesitation take the blame for anything wrong. A trait of a good leader is accountability. That is, an individual who is strong and confident will be accountable, make great predictions regarding specific tasks, and understand the benefits of taking a particular action. By contrast, responsibility is acting towards completing the project or the job.
Learning to be Accountable
According to the Harvard Business Review, 82% of managers must hold others accountable successfully.
Crucial accountability is a factor that increases employee engagement and your workforce’s interest in the company. The best way to increase accountability in an individual is by giving them training.
• Grab Attention – Using a suitable training module with excellent materials is essential. The first point is to create awareness by providing exciting materials. The biggest mistake in any company is making the training tedious and challenging to understand. Make the training immersive using virtual and textual material to make it fun and exciting. The textbook should only be supplementary, meaning engagement and communication are the first essential methods to grab attention.
• Length – Teaching an employee about accountability is about communication and practice. Every lesson should be reasonable, and your participants should be allowed to communicate with people they have not met.
• Focus on Behavior – Crucial accountability is resolving broken commitments and correcting bad behavior. Motivating your employees by understanding their individuality is vital to instill a sense of accountability. During the training, ask everyone to share their opinions about when there was a lack of accountability. How did this impact the way they did their job and their relationship with the company? These questions will also help them to realize the importance of accountability when it comes to the behavior of the workforce.
• Practice – Give your employees a task and ensure they understand the consequences and how to take accountability. Measure the performance and let them know they will be responsible for their actions. This is how leaders are made, and every training program should test the knowledge of their employees. The training program should be finished in a reasonable amount of time and help employees test their expertise in the field.
Responsibility in the Workplace
Responsibility and accountability in Performance Management are sides of the same coin. The manager is responsible when their jobs are well-defined. It is essential to be accountable in the workplace as this helps in completing a task and monitoring other people’s performance in the company.
Accountability is necessary because it reduces the time spent on useless things and can distract the individual from that goal. Well, it is also the responsibility of the leader to keep the employees focused on their goals. Accountability is more of a leader’s character who will instill this factor in their employees. Responsibility is about taking action and seeing it through right till the end. Both these terms are essential, as nobody will follow a leader who is not dependable and blames things on others.
Managers lead by example and are consistent in the value systems. But leaders are also responsible for understanding the low performance of the employees and taking action to improve this. Holding others accountable is also part of the job description; learning how to do this tactfully comes with practice and training.
Accountability can be learned, and the company should allow employees to understand the importance of such behavior. Responsible individuals make great leaders, and this will reflect in the way you work and communicate with others.