The Power Of Accountability

From frozen dumpling from a well known Japanese food production company, Kiwi fruits supplied all year around from New Zealand to the latest mobile phone you hold in your hand all had one thing in common; 100% detailed production history all the way from manufacturing date, assembly line to the origin of the operators and farmers who had handled and processed them at one point of the entire chains of production. Some even provided a website for end users and consumers to upload the serial number and retrieve all the once considered propriety confidential information, such as country of origin to the address and contact number of the factory that produced it. Globalization had make such a accessibility mandatory as manufacturing is a highly complicated and complex business nowadays crossing boundaries and continents.

Like a carpenter leaving his mark on his choice piece of work or author signing off a well written article, taking pride in what he or she does will reinforce positive behaviors and this can also be established with detailed accountability in manufacturing; previously, the frozen dumpling food processor had implemented a productivity rewarding system to increase production output and neglected the accountability portion, as a results, inferior quality products was produced and sales had dipped drastically, the factory had no means to trace the root-cause back to an individual operator by manufacturing date and  production line and the whole production crew was identified instead which lacked the effectiveness of individual accountability, realizing this inadequacy, assembly line was rearranged and individual operator id was captured for each packs of frozen dumpling and the resulting products regained high level of quality and sales revenue picked up subsequently. The effects of leaving a signatures carry the same weight in the industrial area as individual service providers; doctors, lawyers, plumbers, gardeners and so on each taking pride in the products and services provided as their name are highly visible and are at stake, nobody can hides behind a production team for less than satisfactory finish products and services so long the production system was designed in the beginning with individual accountability in mind.

Contradicts to common understandings, adults are not much different from children in craving for the words of encouragement and public compliments and rewards for the jobs well done. Open positive recognition of a worker works wonders for improvement in pride, ego and respect especially in the eyes of her or his colleagues, subordinates and superiors. Monetary rewards itself couldn’t drive and motivate further on an individual as effectively as a pat on the back by the superiors as Law of diminishing returns do also applies to salary. Surprising following half a century old Maslow law of needs, smart and efficient organization knows the importance and remarkable benefits of helping employees to aim for the highest level of self-actualization which couldn’t be established without tools of individual accountability.

In addition, detailed accountability meets the S.M.A.R.T yardsticks; Specified, Measurable, Accurate, Result Oriented and Time Scale. Modern production workers need to know how well one performs so he and she can take timely action for improvement. It also provides a fair framework for management to capture the improvement and arrange for rewards in terms of awards or a raise accordingly. Always making a point to compares to one’s previous performance against the current year instead of falling into this myth of comparing and taking reference with others which is hopelessly endless and discouraging as people do have different set of strength and weakness. Accountability also provided a scientifically ways to validate and feedback on actual results, giving an avenue for an individual or a specified team to be praised, complimented openly as a perceived fair process for others to witness to promote healthy competitive environment for overall higher level of productivity and quality.

In summary, accountability can only be useful f it was being deployed in right manners, from factory workers to professionals, a built-in tracking systems providing timely feedback worth the initial investment and resources as it enable management to identify non conformity for rectification and serve as a tool to reward an individual or a team for job well done in monetary rewards and open praises. Unlike machinery, peoples being an emotional being had complex ego, feeling, pride, dignity and inherent natures to strive for excellent in family, community and workplace, accountability up to an individual level can address these soft requirements as most of us needs only 2 primary things; a sense of significant in what we do and an acknowledgment of being valued by others. Competitive benefits helps too but its alone simply fails to bring out the best of an individual.

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Uncle Garfied enjoys his hot chocolate at Charlie Brown Cafe@313 Somerset. Orchard Road, Singapore.

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