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Job Scorecard vs. Job Description: What's the Difference in 2021? (Video)

By Tiffany Chepul

    Mon, Nov 23, 2020 @ 09:00 AM Accountable Leaders & Teams

    Job Scorecards (or employee scorecards) have been a hot topic recently. Many companies are looking for a way Job Scorecard Employee Scorecardto provide more constant and balanced feedback and coaching to employees while scaling up, instead of just an annual review.   The scorecard approach allows company managers to achieve their strategic objectives.

    The truth is traditional annual performance reviews can be riddled with anxiety. Many times, employees perceive a connection to salary or a raise, which is stressful for everyone. The true value of a performance review - an opportunity for development and coaching - is often missed.  The role and goal clarity that the employee scorecard provides enables managers to be more involved in employee performance.

    As many of our clients embark on the Job Scorecard journey for performance evaluation (see Job Scorecard Examples), the first hurdle is usually a mastery of terminology. I've found lots of confusion between a Job Description and Job Scorecard (employee scorecard) and they both play pivotal roles in your organization. Here's the skinny:

    • A Job Description is used externally for recruiting. It summarizes the role responsibilities and requirements of the job for potential candidates. It also outlines practical job details such as job location, full or part-time, travel requirements, education required, hourly or salary, commission, or bonus, etc.
    • A Job Scorecard (employee scorecard) is used internally for interviewing candidates and coaching existing employees. The Scorecard sets expectations around job scorecard KPIs and results expected. It also serves as the framework for managers and their direct reports to rate performance. It is a coaching document that helps identify opportunities for development and improvement. It can be used quarterly, annually, or whenever a manager needs to have a conversation about performance with a direct report. 

    Below are the key areas of the Employee Scorecard Template:

    Purpose of This Job:

    Why this position exists. The overall and ultimate purpose within the organization.

    Desired Results:

    Visible and measurable evidence of success in this role. What KPIs is the person in this role responsible for delivering? What are the SMART Red-Yellow-Green success criteria for those KPIs? 

    Key Responsibilities:

    Specific actions, tasks or areas of responsibility this role will oversee.

    Skills, Traits & Competencies:

    Specific skills, traits and competencies necessary to be successful in this role. 

    Living Our Core Values:

    Behavior demonstrating an understanding of and alignment with the company’s stated Core Values

    job scorecard template

    In using the Job Scorecard, the first step is to document each of these items for each role in the organization. Get input from the team and work on these together. Share Employee Scorecards with the entire team to promote role clarity throughout the company.

    If the Job Scorecard is to be used in an interview with a potential candidate for that role, the Topgrading Scorecard guides the interviewer's questions. Based on the candidate’s responses, the interviewer can rank each item on a scale of 1-10. If multiple interviews are taking place, each interviewer can use the Job Scorecard in the same way. This allows the interview panel to compare their rankings. The hiring experts at Topgrading also recommend using a Job Scorecard rather than a vague Job Description.  If you're hiring you should visit 10 tips for you to hire and retain talent using Topgrading methodology.

    Job Scorecard vs. Job Description Video

    If the Job Scorecard is to be used with a person currently serving in the role, both the employee and their manager should rank their performance against each of the items listed.

    For example, a skill of a good salesperson is organization and detailed follow up. The salesperson in that role might think they are a 10, while their manager thinks they are a 7. This prompts a discussion and uncovers a coaching opportunity for that manager.

    Implementing Job Scorecards in your organization isn't easy, but it is simple. It does involve a shift in mindset - especially if your organization is in the habit of doing annual reviews. The best place to start is with yourself. Fill out your own Job Scorecard and share with your team. Ask for their input and go from there. Careful, it's contagious!

    If you're interested in increasing accountability in your organization with Job Scorecards, download our free job scorecard template below.  The learning and growth opportunities for your staff is well worth the small effort required to create the scorecard.  Make sure that you balanced scorecards include objective measures that include aspects for customers and employees alike to increase customer satisfaction and process improvements.

    Download Employee Scorecard Template

    Looking for more information to help get you started? Check out our additional employee scorecard resources:

    A Real-Life Job Scorecard Example [SlideShare]

    Use Job Scorecards to Build Team Accountability

    Don't Get Stuck on Your Job Scorecard

    Use Your Core Values and Job Scorecards in Your Hiring Process

    How to Roll Out Job Scorecards in Your Organization

    The Staggering Cost of a Mis-Hire: Use Job Scorecards Instead

    The 5 C's of Team Accountability

    Why Traditional Performance Appraisals Might Be A Big Mistake (And What To Do Instead)

    Use Topgrading and Job Scorecards Together to Attract and Retain A Players

    Rhythm Systems Employee Engagement Resource Center

    Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images 
    Editor's Note: This blog was originally published on Nov 28, 2014, and has been updated.

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