This sentence continues to surprise many: creating a positive and productive work environment hinges on the fundamental concept of accountability.

When individuals fail to take ownership of decision-making, problem-solving, and addressing issues, tasks can often go unfinished, and goals can go unmet. When you are an assistant, the pursuit of accountability extends beyond completing tasks on time. It involves taking ownership of responsibilities and their outcomes!

This week, we will look at the key characteristics of workplace accountability and how you can embody and enhance these qualities in your professional journey.
(be sure to also read our: 9 soft skills to help you be successful in your role).

Set Clear Expectations

Ever felt your efforts go unnoticed? Demonstrating accountability is a powerful way to showcase your commitment to high standards. As a Personal Assistant or an Executive Assistant, taking ownership means being responsible for the decision you make, the actions you take, and the value you contribute to your role.

Top Tip: It all starts with understanding the role you play within your organisation and the expectations your boss has of you and each team member.

  • Outline daily tasks you need to do.
  • Prioritise them within your schedule.
  • Make sure you know what success looks like to your boss and your executives.

Meet Deadlines

Personal and Executive Assistants are assigned various tasks and projects they are responsible for completing.

Top Tip: Instead of waiting to be asked or told what to do, take action and show some initiative to ensure that these tasks are followed through.

  • Be proactive.
  • Identify areas for improvement.
  • Find ways to make a current process more efficient.
  • Ensure you are in control of your own workload with tasks completed on time and to the best of your abilities.

If unforeseen circumstances arise that may affect your ability to meet a deadline, communicate this to your boss as early as possible and provide and alternative solution.

Own Your Mistakes

Owning up to your mistakes is a crucial aspect of accountability. This can be difficult and involve element of vulnerability however owning up to your errors are valuable learning opportunities and demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement. If mistakes happen:

  • Acknowledge them.
  • Learn from them.
  • Take steps to rectify them.
  • Avoid blaming others or making excuses. Instead, take responsibility for your actions and work towards finding a solution.

In addition, be open to constructive criticism! Embrace feedback, whether positive or negative, as a tool for your own benefit.

Top Tip: Setting personal goals and working towards them, such as tracking your progress through free online courses, endorses your hard work and diligence, and shows commitment to consistent improvement. Be sure to have a look at some of some of our training recommendations on Links.


Owning your mistakes in the workplace goes hand-in-hand with effective communication.

  • Keep your boss and team informed on progress.
  • Seek assistance when needed.
  • Address any issues that may arise.
  • Collaborate proactively with your team and colleagues.
  • Offer support whenever possible.

Top Tip: Effective communication involves not only conveying information but also ensuring understanding. Valuable communication skills come into play, especially when expressing concerns, seeking clarification, or providing instruction. You may also find helpful: Know your boss' likes and dislikes

Key Takeaways

1. Workplace accountability is essential for a positive environment.

2. It involves taking ownership of decision-making and problem-solving.

3. As a Personal Assistant or Executive Assistant, open communication is crucial.

4. Regular updates on progress, challenges, and achievements maintain transparency.

5. Timely communication about obstacles allow for collaborative problem-solving.