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What is Work Responsibility?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 16, 2024
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Work responsibility refers to duties that people in certain positions should claim. This can refer to both laborious and social tasks. Recognizing and fulfilling one’s responsibilities at work is generally regarded as an essential part of a strong work ethic.

When a person is hired, the bargain generally is that she will receive a certain amount of compensation for completing certain tasks. In addition to those tasks, other things may be required of her. For example, if she is dealing with the public, she may need to display friendly and compassionate mannerisms. She may also be required to restrain from the use of drugs or intimate relationships with co-workers. The combination of these things is her work responsibility.

In some instances, work responsibility cannot be wholly outlined in an interview or during training. Managers, for example, commonly find that it is necessary for them to engage in tasks not directly outlined in their job descriptions. Acknowledging this responsibility and effectively performing such tasks is often essential to the continuity of business.

Those who are looking to advance within a company may want to look at their approach to their work responsibility. In many instances, superiors are not only looking to see if a person does her job, but they also consider how she does her job. If her work is marred by errors or if she fulfills her obligations only enough to note that the tasks have been completed, she may be deemed unsuitable for promotion or raises.

Attitude and social skills can also play a large role in work responsibility. Those with negative attitudes toward their duties or their co-workers may not realize the larger negative impact. A lead cashier, for example, is expected to conduct certain duties. Although she may fulfill these, she may subject lower level cashiers to harsh treatment. This can have a negative impact on her responsibility because her attitude makes her unapproachable and she is, therefore, not the leader she is expected to be.

It is not only employees, however, who have work responsibilities. Business owners and freelancers also tend to have duties that are expected of them. Failure to recognize or complete these tasks can result in consequences for them as well as consequences for others. For example, if a business owner does not process the payroll, his staff will not get paid and they may refuse to continue working.

Many people do not do well in independent or ownership positions. This is because some people find it is too challenging to maintain work responsibility when there is no boss or supervisory structure. Others underestimate the workload required of them in their positions as business owners or freelancers.

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Discussion Comments

By subway11 — On Sep 03, 2010

Suntan12- That’s true but the employer also work on the job and adheres to health and safety legislation.

For example certain jobs might require the use of safety goggles, especially those in manufacturing. Employers must provide tools such as these in order to prevent injuries.

This is part of the employer’s responsibilities under the health and safety at work act. Employers must limit potential work risk and provide a safe environment for employees to perform their job.

By suntan12 — On Sep 03, 2010

Personal responsibility at work requires not only completion of work assigned, but the work must be done accurately and to the best of your ability.

Demonstrating a can-do attitude along with a strong work ethic will often create more opportunities.

More responsibility at work often leads to job promotions because the employer trusts that you'll get the work done and rewards you with higher pay and additional responsibilities.

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