A conceptual look at leadership and associated concepts.

HR Corner

Reliability is a key component of work performance


Reliability — what an interesting word! What do we mean when we say that someone is reliable?


One definition for reliable refers to “a form of trustworthiness,” the trait of being answerable to someone for something, or being responsible for one’s conduct or actions.


Reliability is a key component of work performance. In fact, often “good quality work” will not be enough to make up for a lack of reliability. Reliability is one of those qualities that is either present or absent. You cannot be “partially reliable” or even “mostly reliable.” To be reliable means to be consistent, regardless of the amount of extra effort it takes. Do you consider yourself to be reliable?


 Here is something you can do to assess your reliability at work. For each of the questions listed consider: who did my behavior impact? How can I consistently continue this positive behavior? Or, how can I change this negative behavior?



-Name three times recently when you went out of your way to demonstrate reliability.  (These can be small examples. It is the small things that count the most over time). Who benefited from your efforts and how can you continue this positive behavior?



-Have there been times in the past three months when you did not deliver as you promised, (e.g., you missed a deadline, you were late, you failed to follow through, etc.?)  Who did your behavior impact, and how can you do better in the future?



-Do you know what your reputation is as far as reliability is concerned? Do others believe they can count on you consistently? Is there anything you can do to assure them that they can count on you consistently?



-Repeatedly being trusted to get the job done right the first time often correlates to reliability. In the past three months, how often were you considered the “go-to” person to get it done right the first time?



-Has your supervisor stopped requesting you to do a particular task? Could this be related to your reliability?



-Do others seem to have confidence in your ability to deliver? When someone asks you to complete a task, do they then “let go” and assume that you will take care of it?



-Producing good quality work with consistency is part of reliability. Prior to saying your work is “finished,” do you take the extra time to make sure that it is truly the best you could do for the task you were assigned?


Reliability is more than a word, a skill set or a behavior.
Source: Fred Polak |  Editor