I hope that headline grabbed your attention because it’s true. The challenge of holding people in your team accountable seems to be one of the biggest problems faced by my clients, but clearly by managers all over the world.
I’m listening to The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni in the car at the moment, and he reinforces one of my key leadership messages. I believe that one of the biggest issues is a lack of clarity between you and your reports, that’s the main reason it is your fault.
That poor clarity comes from your lack of communication about what is important in their role, and the way in which you are going to assess it. If I have a client looking at a new hire, before they talk to a recruiter I make them complete a detailed Position Description (PD). But this one is different.
It must answer these key questions:
- What is the ultimate objective of the role?
- How does it align to the purpose of the business?
- What are the KRAs (Key Results Areas)? These cannot be some vague motherhood statements. They must be descriptors of how this person will add value to the business in a way that is aligned to the overall business purpose.
- What are the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)? Every KRA must have at least one KPI. The KPIs can be an outcome or a process measurement (ie Revenue billed or number of calls made for a sales role). If you can’t work out a way of measuring their performance, how will you or they know how well they are doing? You should not hire a person until you know the answer to this question. KPIs can be linked to any key business outcome. QCTMS is a good acronym to remember. Is the KRA (and KPI) addressing Quality, Cost, Time, Morale or Safety in the business.
This PD does not sit in the HR file after the hire is completed, never to be seen again, which is what normally happens. It becomes a regular part of your engagement with your team. In Part 2 I’ll address how I think your regular conversation should go with them.