Each quarter, Discovery recognizes employees who contribute to our Key Results at a level beyond their role by living the What Else Can I Do? attitude and embodying the See It, Own It, Solve It, Do It mindset.
Discovery’s most recent Accountability in Action award winner, Tonya Mondelli, brings an accountable mindset to her job every day. During Q4 2020, Tonya seamlessly took ownership of several key projects that were assigned to former employees. To ensure a smooth transition, she worked countless hours to prepare detailed and concise project plans, including weekly check-ins to monitor progress. “As a project manager, you have the mindset of project organization and making sure the appropriate people are involved,” she says. “It kind of comes second hand.”
Tonya goes above and beyond her role as a technical project manager. Not only does she effectively guide and coordinate the projects she leads, she is also hands-on and involved with practically every detail of all of her projects. She stays up late at night working with her team to ensure project tasks are completed, and she will always provide any assistance she can.
“To me, accountability is ownership, collaboration, and getting stuff done,” she explains, “It’s in the nature of my position.” She was shocked that, out of all the submissions and nominees that Discovery received for the quarterly award, she won the award. “I was honestly very surprised, because I really look up to the work ethics of Matt and Jan, who were the other two finalists. They are outstanding employees, so to be a finalist with the two of them was an honor in and of itself.”
Tonya explains that because Discovery is a technology-enabled company, IT is a huge part of the organization. And while her department provides the foundation that sets business partners up for success, she gives credit to the operations team. “At the end of the day, they’re the ones that are doing incredible work and pushing clients’ recovery cases forward. Our IT department has been a good partner in helping them get what they need to be able to bring those recoveries in.”
She believes that a big part of accountability is simply getting stuff done, while maintaining the attitude that we are a collaborative team. “If I see something that needs a home or needs to get done, I might as well do it if I have the opportunity to do it. Helping push it over the finish line is going to be a win for everyone whether I’m doing the work or someone else is doing the work,” she says.
Tonya strongly credits the impact that Discovery’s accountability culture has made on the company. “I’ve never been a part of an organization where the culture has changed and shifted so positively in such a short period of time,” she says.
When further explaining the impact of the program, Tonya notes that the accountability culture itself has created strong collaboration across teams, emphasizing that everyone is willing to jump in and help. She knows that it helps not only within her own team, but also throughout the organization.
“Accountability actually makes my job a lot easier,” she says. “Sometimes you have a task and think ‘I don’t know who owns this, should it be me?’ but now with this culture, the thought is to take it, let it be you. You’re able to go into conversations knowing that people are encouraged and willing to put their hands in and work together if help is needed. I think that creates a positive environment within itself.”
While managing a multitude of projects that require leadership and direction, Tonya remains a prime example of an individual who demonstrates accountability. She consistently goes way beyond her role to get the job done and ensures that the stakeholders and clients are more than satisfied with our projects. She does this all with a hard-working, positive attitude.
Lately, Tonya’s free time has been consumed by her 9-month-old daughter, Audrey, but she is loving every second of it. Her Accountability in Action award comes with an extra day off with pay—Tonya plans on enjoying that extra time she’ll get to spend with her daughter and husband.