"I apologize, that was my fault. Let me fix it so that doesn't happen again." How often do you hear a similar phrase at your organization when a mistake is made? Taking responsibility for our actions – both good and bad – is foundational to cultivating a culture of accountability in the workplace. Over the last six months, we have looked at the first two pillars of Mytech's values: Communication and Happiness. Over the next several months, we will be looking at the third pillar of Accountability.
Accountability isn't just about admitting when we make a mistake. It's about taking ownership of our roles and improving upon them. Employees who are engaged in their day-to-day work are invested in the results of their performance. When accountability has been instilled the in the culture of an organization, team members regularly take initiative and go above and beyond to make sure their work meets or exceeds company expectations. It also means that team members are empowered to make decisions with honor and integrity – one of the Mytech values in the Accountability Pillar.
Some of you might be wondering how to encourage accountability in your organization. While we certainly don't have it all figured out, there are a few things Mytech has done to create a culture of accountability. A couple of the pre-requisites necessary to build accountability are a clear definition of roles and processes. Earlier this year, Mytech created an Accountability Chart (to be distinguished from an Org Chart) that outlines each role in the organization and the responsibilities within that role. We have even taken it a step further and associated a unique number with each role. For example, a Level 2 Help Desk tech has a number 10 associated with his role: he is accountable to closing 10 tickets per day.
Once the role has been defined, it is then necessary to outline the process for the role. Our Process Improvement Director, Michael Frascone, plays a big part in making this happen. Michael documents all of the processes we use at Mytech, working with teams and individuals to help provide clarity around the steps that are necessary to produce the right outcomes and results. Once the processes have been documented, Michael then has each individual sign-off on the process. All Mytech staff have access to our process site, where we can reference the steps in a process we use or see the process another team uses. Everyone is encouraged to engage with the process and suggest changes and improvements. The feedback loop in our process engagement is akin to the DMAIC process in Six-Sigma.
These are just a couple of the ways that Mytech is working to establish accountability within our company. When each individual understands clearly what his or her role is and the process by which it is accomplished, accountability throughout an organization becomes much more achievable.