The answer to “What tool clarifies responsibility and authority?”, would be a job description, which is a document that is commonly used to show the details about a particular position in the company. This episode will explain both a job description and performance appraisal.
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“What tool clarifies responsibility and authority?” → A Job Description
Hi this is Mike Negami, Lean Sigma, Black Belt. I received this question from one of my viewers:
“Many companies have this issue and discuss that responsibilities and authorities are unclear among employees. Are there any tools to clarify those?”
Haruhisa, thank you very much for your question.
The answer to “What tool clarifies responsibility and authority?”, would be a job description. In western business culture, this is a document that is commonly used to show the details about a particular position in the company.
Utilities of Job Descriptions
A few years ago, during my last job hunt, I must have read over a hundred detailed job descriptions. Each description has a lot of text and it was a bit overwhelming to go through all of them.
However, as I read more descriptions, I was getting to know more clearly what I wanted to be doing career-wise, and what skills and certifications I needed to get.
By making detailed job descriptions, companies can clarify their expectations for a candidate’s profile, and increase their chances of finding and hiring the best talent for the position.
Once job descriptions are made, you can use them repeatedly. I’ll explain more about how to make them in my next video.
How to conduct a performance appraisal
In addition to hiring people, you can also use job descriptions to make your employees’ KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). When you make KPI’s, make sure that each item on the KPI’s is measurable, then you can use those KPI’s in your yearly performance appraisal.
All employees, including managers, should review the current year’s KPI’s at the beginning of the fiscal year. Then, six months later, everyone can receive a mid-term appraisal. Supervisors won’t just evaluate their direct reports’ KPI’s all by themselves. The employees should self-evaluate first and have an opportunity to promote their work performance to their boss.
After reviewing the submissions, the supervisors can then make mid-term evaluations and interview each employee and tell them the results. Since it’s still mid-term, they can discuss not only how to achieve goals in the remaining six months, but also any issues there might be, what kind of support from the company the employee may need, and how they can develop their skills in the long run.
At the final appraisal at the end of the fiscal year, the same appraisal process can be repeated. However, the final evaluations will affect bonuses and salary increases.
The 3 Important Points in a Performance Appraisal
Here are three important points: First, this performance appraisal activity will increase communication and improve the relationship between the boss and his/her direct reports.
The second point is that the performance appraisal gives managers more authority because the employees meet with the evaluating manager who will judge their KPI’s, and at the same time, this process clarifies who’s in charge of improving each employee and their progress. Evaluating employees is secondary, but improving employees is the main purpose.
The third point is that effective performance appraisals rotate the PDCA Cycle for human resource development.
Growth of employees is essential for the company to grow, so please check how your company is currently managing the rotation of the PDCA Cycle in terms of employee development. If you are not rotating it well, please consider introducing this kind of performance appraisal.
It’s also not necessary to introduce an entire IT system right away to get started with this. Even using just pen and paper can get the ball rolling.