Of all the tools we help our clients integrate into their firms, the Role Scorecard is one of the most powerful.  Properly implemented, Role Scorecards ensure sound hiring, objective performance management, and alignment of employees to their teams, departments and company strategy.

In the new book, “Who: The A Method of Hiring”, authors Geoff Smart and Randy Street provide a simple 3-part tool consistent with the template we have been using for years with clients here at Results Canada.

For every role in the company, there should be a Role Scorecard that defines:

  1. Mission – the core purpose of the role in simple, straightforward language.  For example, “To design new products aligned to customer needs and the company strategy” could be the mission for a marketing or product development role.
  2. Outcomes – objective, measurable criteria for what ‘success’ looks like in the role.  “Grow revenue by 13% in the next two years” could be an outcome for a sales role.  Up to 5 key objectives per role is ideal – too many and there is little focus.
  3. Competencies – what skills, experience and knowledge will be required to be successful in the role?  One example could be “Organization and planning – the ability to plan, schedule, budget and prioritize”.

The authors further suggest the third element must include both job-specific and cultural competencies.  The latter we would call “values fit” – how well does a person in this role fit with the company culture?

It is important to distinguish Role Scorecards from traditional “Job Descriptions”.  In my experience, Job Descriptions tend to be activity focused rather than results focused.  This removes the opportunity for creativity and personalization of the role, not to mention the fact that an employee who executes the actions but does not get the results cannot be held accountable for those results.  Further, top performers today want to have the freedom to determine how to achieve an outcome, rather than being prescribed each and every step.

Once Role Scorecards are in place, a variety of critical activities can be better implemented in the company:

  • Recruiting and Hiring – with a well-defined scorecard, the ability to execute a candidate search, screen applicants, and properly design and implement interviews for a role is done with greater ease and accuracy.
  • Performance Management – when scorecard objectives are clear and measurable, a manager’s job of evaluating employee performance is fair and non-personal.  It’s not a subjective assessment – the objectives were either met or not.
  • Structure and Alignment – Role Scorecards for individuals can “add-up” to teams, departments and the company overall.  This allows leaders to look across the organization to identify gaps where deliverables are required thus creating new roles or adjusting current ones.

I challenge all business leaders to review and assess the current state of their Role Scorecards to ensure they exist, meet the above criteria, and are being used on an ongoing basis to support superior execution.

Article by Tim O’Connor