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There are a lot of measures where accountability can be checked in a workplace. However, there are still a lot of companies that mess up with such processes. Accountability is important in the workplace especially that most companies are grounded in some sort of bureaucracy where someone is supervising a department and supervisors report to managers and so on. It is only through an accountability measures that work in such setup could be well done.
Accountability does not only involve accepting a work and doing it, “true accountability involves taking ownership of your work and viewing your job as a stakeholder would (www.iaap-hq.org).” On the other hand, Robert Staub defines accountability as “a systemic issue and must be understood in terms of a systems approach if it is to really work in any group, family or organization. It is a system of individuals, linked in a chain of mutuality, taking personal and group responsibility to achieve something meaningful.”
In a publishing company where I work, a lot of papers are involved as an accountability measure and they are effective. It is necessary for people to sign in or complete forms before the next process is to be completed especially for writers because they are fully responsible to the articles they write. At the start of every magazine issue, an article checklist is given to the writer in duplicate. This checklist contains the column title, article title, writer’s name, layout artist’s name, date submitted/completed and remarks. This form should be accomplished and one copy be returned to the Editor-in Chief. That form is used by the editor to follow-up the status of the articles being written or submitted to the writer.
There is another form called the status report. This is almost the same as the checklist but in expanded and more detailed form. This is also accomplished in duplicate, one for the writer, the other for the layout artist. The chart contains the column title, article title and writer’s name, edited, first proof, second proof, photo and press.
This guides the writer in the status of the folder he/she is processing for completion. He/she will enter the dates in the given columns to see whether everything is already completed or not. It helps the artists to countercheck whether he/she is putting the appropriate photos or the right bylines in the right articles. Sometimes, these status reports are checked by the supervisor to see whether the printing press can accommodate the printing of the magazines at a given time or if it needs to be outsourced. Moreover, it also helps the coordinator to track the articles of contributors and to follow them up.
Those charts were designed to tell who is accountable for such work especially when there are errors. The employees may lie but the papers they have accomplished themselves not. Those are also necessary for evaluation purposes at the end of the publication cycle. The department may know how to be become more effective and efficient in terms of workforce and resources. These processes are made clear at the onset of training for new employees and they are mutual agreement in the department.
Deborah Mackin in her article Growing Responsibility and Accountability in the Workplace, proposed the RACI Chart as one of the tools which may be similar of that above. The RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. It will help people to know their responsibilities, who is accountable for such work, whom he or she is accountable to, who will be consulted and how and who to inform. Basically, such chart should be present in a workplace so the management is certain why are they hiring people and people are particular at the jobs they have to accomplish.
“Accountability in Today’s Workplace.” Retrieved December 12, 2008 from http://www.iaap-hq.org/OfficeTeam_CareerCenter/accountability_in_todays_workplace.htm
Staub, R. 2005. Accountability and its role in the workplace. The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area. Retrieved December 12, 2008 from http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/stories/2005/01/17/smallb3.html
Mackin, Deborah. _______. Growing Responsibility and Accountability in the Workplace. Retrieved December 12, 2008 from http://www.sideroad.com/Management/accountability-in-the-workplace-responsibility.html