I remember way back in the early days of the ride-sharing app Uber, the company's new drivers had some very strong views on what the technology meant to them. For some, the fact that the system could track everything from how long it took them to pick people up, to how efficient their route was, and even how many and how long their breaks were, was a big negative. To others, the fact that these same things tended to reward good service and efficiency was a big plus. I don't think it's a coincidence that the folks who embraced the tech seemed to be a lot more interested in performing well and delivering a great customer experience, compared to those who disliked the "accountability" that the system created.
Technology and Increased Accountability
As industries adopt more and more technology, one of the things that come with the new tech is often labeled 'increased accountability' (it might also be labeled 'transparency') In plain English, these terms usually means that, through various forms of tracking, reporting, and paper trails, the technology lays bare what users actually do. This idea sounds great to managers and customers who often feel like they really don't know what goes on outside of their immediate view. Workers say they do things, but often times the data says otherwise.
To a lot of us who are the subject of this new scrutiny, 'accountability' feels like a loss of freedom and a new cost of doing business. In other words, accountability isn't helping us, it's hurting us. Are we right?
I'd argue that if we're doing our jobs well, accountability isn't the enemy. In fact, it's a convenient way to show our bosses and our customers that we're good at what we do. If you take pride in your professionalism, don't make promises you can't keep, and are always striving to out-serve the competition, systems that provide accountability might just be your new best friend!
So next time you hear that a new process or software is going to increase the accountability of your business, feel better knowing that you now have another way to show the world that you're better than many of your peers. Embrace it and find ways to make sure that others see the proof of your talent!