March Life Skill: Accountability

March-AccountabilityThis month at HALO, we focus on the life skill “Accountability”. You may ask why this is important. Well, here’s a fact: We are all accountable to someone. But what does this mean? What is accountability and who are we accountable to? We wanted to know more and invited Dionne King, Manager of Diversity at Lathrop & Gage to help us understand accountability and improve HALO’s culture.

What is Accountability?

“An obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s action.”

Who are we accountable to & how does this look like?

To understand the definition above, the HALO team members shared who they think they are accountable to and how those accountabilities look like. A few examples:

  • “I’m accountable to my boss who works in a different city. I have to make sure that I keep my communication open and consistent to stay in her sight.”
  • “I feel like I’m accountable to the staff I manage. I try to meet with them on a weekly basis to see if there’s anything they need my help with or if there’s anything they want to talk about.”

Moreover, we have to hold ourselves accountable. This will improve our performance at work, our relationships and more.

Create a culture of accountability in your organization

Accountability is essential for us in order to reach our full potential. That’s why it makes sense for every organization to focus on improving this aspect in its culture. For employees to feel included in their organization’s culture and understand what they uniquely provide to the world, gives their organization a competitive advantage. Organizations that are willing to improve, have to position themselves to do so by understanding what their culture is like. A concept that helps with that is S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-framed). It helps companies to set and achieve goals.

Here are some tips to improve your organization’s culture:

  • Incentives
  • Reward hard work by encouraging self care (e.g. Time off)
  • Build trust
  • Create ownership for every person (e.g. Include every team member in strategic planning)
  • Encourage and support your employees to grow and develop

Accountability is a key factor to achieve one’s full potential. As we celebrated our 10 year anniversary last year and set ourselves up to achieve even more this year, we are highly motivated by Dionne’s insights on improving our organization’s culture. Thank you Dionne! We are now ready to strengthen our cohesion within the HALO family and come out with an even greater impact in 2016. HALO is #JustGettingStarted

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