Improving Accountability within the Workplace

Improving Accountability within the Workplace

Forbes Magazine published an article on Accountability titled, "7 Ways to Build Accountable Organizations". Within the article, the author posses the question:

Where do you need to invest your time and attention to build an environment of accountability?

This is a question many organizations ask themselves and consistently struggle to find the answer. A significant reason so many organizations are struggling to answer the question on accountability is because their primary focus is on process and they do not consider job fit.

The Forbes' article on accountability effectively covers the core procedural elements necessary to be able to monitor and report on accountability: clearly defined job roles, mutually agreed upon tasks, positive incentives, consistent reviews, etc. However, the article like many other periodicals on accountability overlooks the significance of job fit.

Job fit is about understanding whether or not the job tasks assigned to employees fit their natural behavioral tendencies. Job fit is important to creating an environment of accountability because no matter how well defined the process, people will very likely avoid the tasks they don't like to do. As a result job fit is important to creating a culture of accountability.

The Harrison Assessment provides an excellent example of how a personality trait assessment can be used to measure job fit and foster an environment of accountability. The Harrison Assessment,founded in 1990, has a key premise that if someone doesn't like to do a task they likely will avoid doing the task even if it is a part of their daily responsibilities.

Accountability Suitability Factor Chart 1
Accountability Suitability Factor Chart 2

The graphs above provide an example of why a VP of Business Development for a large healthcare company was struggling to perform a key task. As the two graphs show, the VP of Business Development was assigned job tasks that require organization and precision. However he disliked such tasks and consequently tended to avoid them even though he was capable of doing them.

The assigned task that was at the heart of the issue was developing, maintaining, and reporting on the leads for the entire organization. This task was a critical task assigned to this individual. Every week, the sales reports were reviewed by the executive team and consistently denounced for their lack of details and incomplete records.

This challenge was ongoing for over a year. It was finally resolved when the executive team and VP of Business Development recognized the lack of suitability and re-assigned the data management and weekly reporting to another member of their team. Almost instantly, the issue was resolved because the task was assigned to someone who was a better fit for tasks that require a high level of organization and precision.

By utilizing personality trait assessments, organizations are able to optimize task assignments among team members. This will help foster and sustain a culture of accountability because the right people are assigned the right tasks. Process alone cannot create a culture of accountability if people are assigned tasks they tend to avoid.

You can visit our website to learn how the Harrison Assessment can be used to optimize job fit and to download an example job suitability report.