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Accountability in the workplace

If you are entering the working world for the very first time, congratulations to you and we hope that you have many successful years ahead. When walking into your first job, either in-office or remote, it’s important to understand that there are things that you will need to do and reciprocate. It’s also important to understand that this is not school or university, where ‘group work’ is something that’s often taken for granted.

The reason for group work in those phases of your life, was for you to build yourself and become a responsible, reliable and accountable individual – three things that are very, very important in the workplace. So, here are a few ways you can demonstrate accountability in the working world…

  1. Understand your position

When you are assigned to a project or task, you will have a clear understanding of what responsibilities and deliverables you need to accomplish, along with a specific timeframe. When working in a team, make sure everyone is on the same page regarding their responsibilities and position in the team.

  1. Be honest

It’s important to be honest, not only with your co-workers but also with yourself. While telling the truth can be difficult when owning up to a mistake, this also builds integrity, and consequences are almost null and void when you own up. When you choose to stay silent or ignore a problem, it never really goes away, it just becomes a bigger problem.

  1. Apologise if you are in the wrong

If you know you did something wrong, be quick to apologise and rectify the situation. After apologising and following up with the necessary actions will quickly help and soften the situation – it will also make it easier for everyone to move on and work together to resolve the problem.

  1. Manage your time wisely

Managing your time efficiently is another key attribute of accountability. If you are managing your time well, you’ll be able to complete tasks and projects on time, and your coworkers will be able to rely on you for critical tasks.

  1. Set boundaries and know your limits

Never say yes to something when you know you will not manage. It’s very easy to become a people-pleaser in the workplace because you want to give off a good impression. The only problem with not knowing your limits is that you end up taking on too much, and towards crunch time, you’ll need to drop the ball on certain tasks and responsibilities which makes it difficult on your coworkers. Know your limits!

Accountability should not only be applied in the workplace but also in your personal life amidst friends and family, and strangers! Always hold yourself accountable and know that there will always be consequences.

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