Webster defines accountability as “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions.” Consider accountability to be a clear commitment that—in the eyes of another– has been kept. Wouldn’t you agree that trust and respect, are built on accountability.
When effective teamwork is being discussed, accountability is a part of the equation. Teamwork indicates that people within the organization know what they are supposed to do, when they are supposed to do it, and how they are supposed to do each aspect of their job or role. In addition, members of the team know the expected end results of their performance.
No matter what your role in your organization, you do not have the time or energy to “wonder” if your colleague it going to do what they are supposed to do. You cannot wonder if you are going to “get that report’, or have a full schedule’, or have monies collected appropriately”, etc. Worrying about those things leads to undo stress.
A successful organization sets up systems that are precise, clearly organized and documented: ”this is what we do, this is how we do it, this is who does what, and these are the expected results.” Then a precise training program is put into place where the time, energy, money and effort is invested to make sure that the people administering those systems know what they are doing and has both the competency and the confidence to administer with excellence. At that point, monitors are established so that the individual members of the team, as well as the executives, can see whether or not—the benchmarks or goals—are being met. And, if they are not being met, accountable people step up to the plate and make necessary alterations or changes to make things better.
That’s accountability. That’s teamwork. That’s a healthy work environment that leads to success for all involved.