I had to take a quiz today to wrap up a series of training sessions on community management. It was fairly easy and painless, but still not without some stress. The quiz covered the content of the last five course sessions, so I spent time reviewing the content of those sessions prior to the quiz.
The good thing about a quiz is that it holds you accountable for what you should know at some point in the educational process. If all you have to do is show up, get marked as present, but never be held accountable, the system is flawed.
I wish there were more accountability procedures in the workplace. I’ve had several people ask me to be an accountability buddy through the years and I’m always glad to oblige. Such informal, peer relationships can be very effective. Of course, there are also the formal annual reviews as well between employee and manager ingrained into many workplaces.
Sadly, I don’t have to look too far to find folks who don’t appear to be held accountable for actually getting something meaningful accomplished. When that happens, it is bad for business as well as a disincentive to others who wonder why they have to work hard while others do not.
Fortunately, my work ethic isn’t negatively impacted by such people – I’ll give it my all in whatever I do because I am intrinsically motivated to do so. But not everyone shares that sentiment.
In my ideal business world, employees would have regular check-ups with their supervisors to answer the questions of what they’ve accomplished since the last check-up, what they plan to accomplish before the next one, and what obstacles they may need leader assistance in overcoming. For me, the every-other-week schedule my manager and I have for such discussions works, but each employee and supervisor should set the frequency to suit themselves, making sure the check-ups are frequent enough to head off any concerns early rather than later in the process.
Like passing the quiz I took today, having accountability discussions makes sure we’re on track with what we should know and do.
Leap year lesson #174 is It’s good to be held accountable.