At Rhythm Systems, we are huge fans of a simple tool called the Job Scorecard. It can be used in so many extremely valuable ways to help you build a strong, accountable team of A Players. It does take some time to think about and document Job Scorecards for each role on your team, but that investment of time is worth it, especially if you follow these tips to use the Job Scorecard over time.
4 Ways to Use Job Scorecards
- Hiring: Create a new Job Scorecard each time you hire for a new position. Use the scorecard when you are evaluating potential new hires. Make sure the person is a great fit for the desired skills and competencies and can reasonably fulfill the purpose and key responsibilities of the role. Focus on the Core Values portion of the tool to ensure that the candidate is a good culture fit before bringing them onboard. At Rhythm Systems, we print a copy of the Job Scorecard for the position for each person who participates in the Topgrading interview and we use this tool to guide our discussion about the candidate after the interview.
- Clarifying Expectations: When you are onboarding the new hire, do not keep that Job Scorecard a secret. We print it out and give the new hire a copy as part of their “great first day.” We give them the gift of clarity right off the bat. Each new employee knows his or her purpose and exactly what results are expected from the get go. It is also a great way to reinforce your Core Values. We like to talk through each one, giving specific examples of how we live those values daily.
- Having Performance Conversations: After that first day, don’t just file that new hire’s Job Scorecard away. This is the perfect tool for you to use to have an objective performance conversation with your team members (or with your leader). Since you have clarified expectations upfront, you can pull out the tool and talk honestly about how your team is performing against the desired results and key responsibilities, whether he or she is living the Core Values, and if there are any gaps or opportunities to further develop the skills and competencies needed to be successful. Having this kind of framework can take the drama out of these conversations.
- Managing the Workload of Your Team: As a team leader, you should periodically review the Job Scorecards for all of your team members. Look for patterns where you team may be focusing a lot of energy on priorities that are not part of their Job Scorecard. If you see patterns of misalignment, determine if you need to revisit the Job Scorecard to fit the person’s actual role, or do you need to have a crucial conversation with that person about why they aren’t spending the needed time to get their core jobs done. If responsibilities on the team shift as you grow, revisit and revise Job Scorecards as needed. And share those updates with the entire team. Ensure that everyone knows not only their own role, but what others are accountable for on the team as well. Consistently reviewing Job Scorecards will help you see when you may need to hire or split a role to manage your team’s workload appropriately.
Using the Job Scorecard in concert with a tool such as a Rhythm dashboard packs a powerful punch - you have clear expectations and a visible way to track progress toward mutually agreed upon goals. Your team’s performance is no secret, and you don’t have to wait for annual reviews to provide feedback and make adjustments so that you can all be successful. And, if you and your team are successful, your company can do amazing things!
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