For greater accountability in your agency, throw out your job descriptions.
The average job description is prescriptive and emphasizes activities over outcomes.
When we prescribe specific activities to a role, we set an expectation for our people to keep to those activities. This can restrict their sense of freedom to evolve how they work, which limits their potential.
When we prioritize outcomes over activities, and we leave it to our people to decide how they’ll achieve those outcomes, you’ll see greater ownership, accountability, and results.
Consider the different roles in your agency.
Define a unique objective for each.
Then define the outcomes each role is meant to produce. Think in terms of outcomes for clients and outcomes for the business.
Then ask your people to take it from there. Ask them…
- How do they want to deliver on their objective and outcomes?
- What decision-making rights do they need?
- What performance indicators will they use to measure their progress?
- What skills and abilities do they need to develop?
When employees can design their own roles in this way, the experience can be transformational and everyone benefits:
- “Unique objectives” help you reduce redundant functions.
- “Outcomes” create clarity on the role’s business value.
- “Decision-making rights” foster speed and a bias for action.
- “Autonomy” for staff to determine how they will achieve their outcomes produces ownership and accountability.
- “Performance indicators” help staff learn and adapt for better outcomes.
- “Skills and abilities” point the way to professional development pathways.
As an agency leader, your job in all this is to provide the initial direction, facilitate the discussion, and provide mentorship. Then get out of the way.