Do you want to experience increased job satisfaction? Have you ever wanted to see your ideas implemented in the workforce or be given more autonomy? What about increasing you long-term earning potential and career longevity? If you answered yes to any of those questions, recognize you have more control over attaining your goals than you may think. The key lies in demonstrating a commitment to holding yourself personally accountable.
Here are 5 key ways to demonstrate that you are an employee that values and exudes personal accountability.
Focus on what you can control
There are many things that happen within an organization that employees have little or no control over. Perhaps there was a shake-up in leadership, a machine broke down and impacted your work, or you work with someone that appears to have a lack of professional boundaries. Personal accountability is not taking responsibility for everything that happens around you, but instead recognizing that you control how you respond. It can be incredibly empowering and freeing to solely focus on the things within your control like your attitude, behavior, and how you choose to react to any situation.
Own the quality of your work
One aspect of your work that you can most certainly control is the quality of what you produce. Whether you are counting widgets, budgeting the organizational finances, or designing snazzy graphics for social media – the work you produce and the effort you put into it is completely within your control. Paying attention to detail, avoiding distractions, and doing what you can to meet deadlines or production standards is a clear way to show that you value your work and hold yourself accountable for your results. Owning the quality of your work also means assuming the responsibility of bring any business-related challenges to the attention of someone who can help remedy them.
Manage your performance
Showing up on time, avoiding extended breaks, setting and respecting professional boundaries, and focusing on the quality of the work and results produced is the foundation of managing your own performance. Few leaders want to have to have those difficult performance management conversations with their staff, and chances are the team member on the other side of that conversation would prefer to not have to have them either. Most managers would agree that the best way to avoid those uncomfortable meetings is for team members to embrace the ‘responsibility of freedom’ mentality by being someone who is capable of managing themselves. Self-management is also demonstrating that you respect the roles of other people and that you can effectively stay in your proverbial lane. Avoid criticising other people’s work or spending your time keeping tabs on what other people are doing – unless you have been tasked with that responsibility.
Swallow your pride
Change is the only constant. This means that no matter how new (or tenured) you are within your industry, role, or organization, if your wish to continue to thrive at work, you need to recognize that there is always more to learn, and what would in the past may no longer be the best (or most efficient) way to do things. Be open to learning from everyone you come into contact with, solicit feedback when appropriate, don’t be afraid to admit that you may need training on something, and seek out resources to continue to grow your skills. By staying humble and swallowing your pride, your will maintain and/or increase your standing as a top-performer.
Admit your mistakes
Mistakes are bound to happen, some big and some small. While some may think that admitting mistakes is a sign of weakness, top-performers recognize that it is a sign of strength and character. Those who demonstrate personal accountability are not going to hide from mistakes or brush them under the rug in hopes that no one notices. They don’t point fingers at others for their errors or shortcomings. Instead, they quickly recognize the issue and take immediate steps to correct it or bring it to the attention of someone who can – all while taking the steps necessary to avoid making the same mistake again. Being able to take ownership of mistakes builds trust within the organization – and with trust comes respect and opportunity.