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Ensuring More Accountability In Your Business

– Contributed content –

Sunset greeting

(Min An,

19 Feb. 2019. Businesses often live and die by their accountability. Accountability is not something that is so easily defined. We often like to think of it as the sweeping sword of justice, finding the correct culprit of a problem and either letting them go from a position, humiliating them in the court of law, or even through the court of social media. For example, if a business decides to adopt a firm policy against a certain kind of political ideal, many people consider that the leaders need to be held to account on Twitter.

This might feel good to some, but of course it doesn’t resemble real accountability. Also, some accountability can be sweeping. For example, it’s not uncommon for vast sections of marketing staff to be wiped from a business if a product hardly sells well, and as they go for another approach. Does a tepid launch and response mean every single marketing staff was at fault? Of course not.

But accountability can be much better than this. It can be more useful than this. Ensuring accountability in your business matters, from top to bottom. With the right efforts and applied correctly, you can see why:

Taking minutes

It is essential to ensure that your meetings are recorded. Of course, you might not wish to video record them all, but it can be essential to either take minutes or to record the audio of each internal development. This ensures that the agreements made are verifiable, and that ideas brought up and agreed on are remembered. You might not consider doing this for every single meeting you have, because that might be a waste of time. But for the important week or month-in-review meetings, this could be essential. It could also be essential to ensure a transcription services for some of these office developments, and you can follow Take Note’s guide to understand just how easy it is to implement something like this in your business life.

Internet traffic

It sounds like something a parent would try to implement when attempting to keep their son away from explicit and inappropriate content online, but offices function in much the same, unpredictable manner as a teenager’s bedroom sometimes. When important politicians have been busted for viewing strange or silly content online, you can be sure it happens in your office. Of course, giving your staff some freedom over what they utilize to help them in their job is important, and monitoring YouTube or another website’s time when they might be using it for real purposes or simple sideline entertainment as they commit to their excellent working efforts could be considered a little overboard.

But in fast-paced industries, a little accountability here can be worthwhile. For example, in procurement, remote workers will often utilize a stat tracking system that shows their log in times and activity while working from home, to ensure they are actually taking care of their business efforts while you can’t be there in person to ensure matters are taking place. It’s a little, non-intrusive measure, but in an industry that moves this fast, it’s not hard to see why that’s useful.

Staff vetting

Vetting staff can be essential for when you decide to hire the best talent available to you. It can take some time to do this effectively, especially if you’ve never done it before. But just because it might take a few hours to do well, doesn’t mean it’s overly hard. Simply contacting references they have given you on the application, a quick social media search and an important understanding of their verified past can help you ensure you’re hiring someone with positive intentions and a good track record.

Another word on social media. Social media activity is encouraged and often the norm in today’s world. People have had much to say about this, for better or for worse. Some firms embrace it, crafting staff Facebook groups to give out information more than anything else. However, when it comes to employing staff, it’s also important to consider that they are representatives of your firm. Often, they have their workplace listed somewhere on their biography categories, and this reflects on your firm. If the staff member decides to post tirade after tirade regarding their political affiliation, explicit content or a range of other questionable activities, it is absolutely your right to suspend their application or even to give a staff member an escalated warning.

Of course, your staff have the right of free speech provided that they are adhering to the social media platforms content policy. But it is also your right as a business to warn or fire someone for how they represent your firm through their actions, and sometimes this representation can be a real threat. Be sure to keep an eye on this, because you never know the hidden damage you could cause.

Staff reporting

It’s easy for advice such as that we’re about to give to sound like you are constructing some form of secret police, aimed at turning people against one another and leaving a sense of paranoia echoing through your work halls. But this isn’t what staff reporting is utilized for. If a staff is underperforming, it is your job or your managers job to report it, and for staff to have their right to express themselves. It is not a colleagues job to do that unless they are being let down in team work by that lack of effort.

However, sexual harassment, bullying, and intimidation of any kind should be considered a zero-tolerance consideration, leading to immediate dismissal. Allowing the victims of these issues to come forward and talk about their treatment with HR in a confidential, extremely supportive atmosphere should be allowed, and can really help you rid your firm of the rot that might have grown in this way. This helps you ensure your firm is continually relevant and excellent, and keeps a strong sense of office morale.

With these tips, ensuring more accountability in your business is sure to be well achieved.

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