One of the priorities for our Consulting and Client Services team here at Rhythm Systems this quarter was to nail down Job Scorecards (or Employee Scorecards) for each team member. Some of us had Job Scorecards when we were hired (some of us have been around longer than the tool!), but as our company has grown and changed, so have the roles we are all filling. Additionally, we are looking to hire for new roles on our team that we have yet to clearly define, so it was necessary for us to revisit this tool this quarter. Read this post if you are confused on job scorecard vs job description and when to use the right tool.
This exercise sounded easy enough - the one page tool is simple, and we should be able to use our own tool, right? However, I found completing the Job Scorecard to be quite a challenging undertaking. Perhaps it is because our company is growing quickly and we are all wearing multiple hats, but I just kept getting stuck on mine! Luckily, I work with a team of expert coaches who knew exactly how to guide me through it. If you are a Rhythm client, your coach can walk you through this exercise, too, but since not all of you have access to such an incredible resource, I thought I would share some tips that made completing the Job Scorecard tool for my role much easier:
- Spend the time to get the purpose right before you do anything else. As Patrick is fond of quoting, “begin with the end in mind.” Really understanding the purpose of the job will inform the way you think about the rest of the questions. Also, taking the time to think about and articulate the purpose of your role in the company will provide meaning to the work that you do and how you contribute to the core purpose of your organization. Our team actually slowed down here and agreed on a purpose for our whole department, then one for each role in the department.
- Then, if you are anything like me, the next section of the form is the hardest! I was stuck on Desired Results. I understand why it is at the top of the form (it is pretty important to know the desired result of the role and how it is going to be measured), but for me, this is a hard place to start. Chris, our Head of Coaching, encouraged me to skip down to the Key Responsibilities section first, and then come back to Desired Results.
- Once I moved on to Key Responsibilities, I had a hard time limiting myself to the five boxes on the tool. Chris emphasized the word “Key” - meaning not ALL employee responsibilities go here, just the most important ones. I ended up making a list in a separate document of everything that is part of my job, and then grouping the related items together in that list. In this way, I came up with five categories that encompassed the key aspects of my role. It felt great to get this section completed on the tool - finally, I was making progress!
- Working my way back up the tool, I moved on to the Skills, Traits, and Competencies. Chris encouraged me to think about these in relation to the key responsibilities that I outlined rather than thinking about specific traits or skills that I possess. It can be tempting to focus on the person who is currently filling the role and what they bring to it, but it is far more important to be sure to capture the skills that anyone would need to master to be able to complete the key responsibilities of the position in a way that fulfills the purpose of the job.
- Finally, I was back to Desired Results. Now that I was clear on the purpose of the job, the key responsibilities, and skills, traits & competencies, I was able to think through the metrics that would demonstrate measurable evidence of success in my role. It was important to think of results that I could directly impact with my work, not metrics that were so far from my role that I couldn’t really influence them. Together, Chris and I were able to think of two Desired Results and Red-Yellow-Green success criteria. Now, I have confidence in how my success is measured, and I have the ability to control my own destiny by making sure that I hit the mark on these important metrics.
Even though I found it challenging at first, this was such a rewarding process for me. It is really empowering to understand the “why” behind my day-to-day activities and to be able to say with confidence whether or not I am successful in my work. This was a very motivating exercise, and I enjoyed the process of thinking through it with Chris, who also happens to be my supervisor. Now, when it comes time for us to sit down to discuss my performance, we are on the same page about what specifically she’s looking for; we have a framework to discuss the skills and capabilities that I need to improve and whether I am living our core values in the way that I go about my work.
Before you get started using the Job Scorecard tool to clarify expectations for your team, I recommend reading this blog that gives an example of how to use the employee scorecard. Then, work with your team on their individual roles; they probably will get even more out of the process than you will, and everyone will benefit from the alignment and increased accountability that will result from this exercise.
If you're interested in increasing accountability in your organization with Job Scorecards, watch this fantastic webinar!
The Power of Systems and People: Accountable Leaders and Teams
Rhythm Systems Employee Engagement Resource Center