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I'm accountable and I like it.

Will the increased accountability required by SMCR add pressure and stress to our employees?



One of the main drivers behind SMCR is to improve individual accountability. The challenge here is that “improved individual accountability” can mean very different things to different people and to different firms.


On the one hand, you can see accountability as the ability to “hold people to account” – this is more of a top-down control ethos so logically, improving this will require more control.


On the other hand, you could interpret individual accountability as being able to trust and empower people to do their jobs well, in this case improving accountability will be about releasing top-down control.


In reality, the way that individual accountability is implemented will include a mix of the two perspectives. So, instead of trying to look at this from the viewpoint of a 3rd party, we thought it might be instructive to look at this wearing the shoes of an individual who is being made accountable.


Specifically, what form of accountability would make you enthusiastic and motivated about your job? What would “good accountability” feel like?”.


Here are a few thoughts:

  • I know where my job begins and ends – if somebody were to ask me I’d be able to tell them exactly what my responsibilities are.

  • The people I work with also know where my job begins and ends – essentially, this makes me accountable to all these people (co-works, boss etc).

  • I know that I am trusted to complete my work well within this scope – I do not feel that there are unnecessary checks and controls on me.

  • I understand how my work fits within the bigger picture of the processes I am involved in. I clearly understand and appreciate the value that my work brings to these processes (and to the firm overall)

  • I can influence change – in particular, if I see that there are possible improvements that could be made to the way I work or indeed, the way that the processes overall work.

  • I know what good performance looks like and I know what bad performance looks like within the context of my job.

  • I have the skills and competencies required to excel at my work. I can access training resources if I feel that I need additional skills and competencies.

  • I get regular feedback on my performance, this is not just a once a year, annual appraisal event but everyday communication.


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