We’re back to share another of our core values with you, allowing you to know us better and understand the foundation on which we do business and build relationships. This week we’d like to introduce – accountable – another value which goes hand in hand with our other core values of service excellence, ethical, passionately committed, accountable, selfless servants, people of possibility (never back down), thirst for knowledge (learning culture). Today, we’d like to share why being accountable is so important to us and what it means to you as our clients.
At Virtual Partner Advantage (VPA), we are accountable, first and foremost to our clients, but also to each other and to ourselves. Being accountable at VPA means promptness, efficient and thoughtful prioritization, coupled with the follow-through needed to accomplish assigned tasks. Accountable means taking ownership and responsibility of assigned projects, and responding positively in all circumstances, no matter the challenges or obstacles presented. Being accountable to you, our clients, to one another, and to ourselves, allows us to provide you with the best experience possible.
Emily Lohman, CPA, Controller and Team Lead, explains, “to me, accountable is taking ownership of your actions, or lack of actions, AND realizing the effects.” In many cases, accountability is used when problems arise or errors are made, but at VPA problems and errors are viewed as opportunities to bounce back and rise above. When these situations arise, VPA takes responsibility, then re-evaluates the process to find a better way, so errors and issues aren’t repeated. Lohman adds, “being accountable doesn’t mean being perfect; it means being perfectly realistic and transparent about the situation.”
At VPA, accountability is a part of every client’s procedures, complete with standard processes outlining who is responsible for both tasks and timelines. Why? So, everyone involved has the necessary knowledge and can be accountable. In addition, this knowledge allows VPA team members to see the role they have in positively impacting each client’s business and adding value to VPA’s services. With accountability as a core value, mistakes aren’t hidden, blame is not shifted, and trust is not lost. Instead, accountability breeds trust among clients and team members, mistakes are owned and corrected, and in the end, value is added for clients. At VPA, being accountable also means holding team members accountable for their successes!
Kelsie Lemoine, Purchasing/Renewals and Value Team member, describes being accountable this way, “accountable means taking responsibility for a task, completing the task accurately and in a timely manner, without the need to be cued.” VPA team members are proud of their ability to inspire trust in clients, which occurs in part due to unbelievable service as well as accountability. Lemoine continues, “when clients need additions to their contracts, we hold ourselves accountable to train and take on the tasks quickly. Accountability also plays a big role among team members, who occasionally need to cover for one another. The only way to get the job done is accountability and knowledge.”
At VPA, when clients sign their letters of engagement, VPA team members at all levels become accountable to exceed client expectations from systems to processes along with the assurance that all data is accurate and handled efficiently. The same accountability holds true for team members, who are accountable to one another on a daily basis for support, communication, and teamwork. Team members are also accountable to themselves to have an open mind and always work from their strengths. Michelle Bournstein, Executive Team Solutions Specialist Manager, elaborates, “we strive to grow and are accountable to each other so VPA can help our clients be successful. We take ownership and responsibility for each tasks’ successful completion, if we didn’t, we wouldn’t have the exceptional team of valuable A-Players who are accountable to one another and our clients.”
Being accountable demonstrates VPA’s dedication to leadership and performance excellence. Taking responsibility is accountability in which issues can be corrected, growth can occur, and trust can be built toward added value and ultimately overall success.