Organisations, for the most part, are staffed by people who want to do the right thing to do their job to the best of their ability. In the course of doing their job, they sometimes encounter problems in getting things done. What happens when problems are encountered, largely determines whether or not an organisation has a culture of accountability.
In certain organizations there is an absence of true accountability, as such decline in results are often accepted as long as there appears to be a suitable reason or excuse in not completing the required tasks, examples being conflicting priorities, lack of resources and co-operation.
Even though this seems to be a small problem, it is not as it appears. Failing to deliver suitable results can have significant consequences for the business.
In an organisation with a true culture of accountability, it is understood and expected, that it is never OK that something couldn’t be delivered because problems were encountered. In a culture of accountability, people:
1. Make their best effort to deliver on time and to cost and quality requirements.
2. Anticipate problems up front and work with their managers to solve or manage them.
3. Immediately advise their manager if unanticipated problems arise, so that they can be solved or managed.
In an organisation where true accountability exists
- Work never has to be redone
- Less time is spent following up overdue work
- The resources, information and data required are always available when needed
- The quality of work always meets the standards required and at times may exceed
- Work is always done on time in order to meet deadlines
Such an organisation would have a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace through its ability to deliver quality, reliable products or service to its clients, while operating with maximum productivity and minimum cost. A by-product of such a culture would also be that staff would be highly motivated, satisfied with their work outcomes and strongly supported by their managers.