As I shared in “Giving Employees A Home,” only “6 in 10 U.S. employees strongly agree that they know what is expected of them at work,” which drives disengagement in the American workforce (Gallup). Since clear expectations are critical for employees, our company has established a unique role and outcome statement for each position. Everyone from the CEO to the newest employee can access each other’s role and outcome statements.
Doing this was a big effort between employees and their managers, but the work is paying off. We’re already seeing a double-digit improvement for engagement scores in this area. When engagement increases, so does productivity, profitability, positive interactions with coworkers, innovation, and employee satisfaction with their organization.
Here are eight big benefits of establishing a role and outcome statement for every employee:
Sets Clear Expectations
Barely half of employees nationwide know what’s expected of them. A role and outcome statement communicates expectations clearly to get alignment between managers and employees. Just because a manager thinks expectations are clear doesn’t mean the employee does.
Makes Evaluation Easier
According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, “In many cases, employees are being held accountable for work that may or may not align with the work they are being evaluated on.” With a role and outcome statement, performance evaluation can be targeted correctly. Score them on what matters!
Strengthens Employee Purpose
A rising trend from Gallup’s workplace report is that employees “want their work to have meaning and purpose.” A role and outcome statement crisply identifies the employee’s purpose so she can believe exactly why she’s there. If not, what’s the point?
Simplifies Feedback Conversations
Today’s employees are looking for more frequent feedback conversations with their managers. A role and outcome statement provides easy fodder for meaningful discussions: “How have you enjoyed your role lately? Do you have a clear picture of what’s expected of you? Where have you seen success in your outcomes?”
Streamlines Development Toward Mastery
When an employee has a clear view of his role and outcomes, his manager and he can plan meaningful growth in targeted areas. Workers today are more oriented than ever toward growth and development. The question is, will they grow in the right ways? A role and outcome statement can direct the path.
Identifies Gaps in Team Outcomes
Individual positions are pieces of a larger team. If the smaller pieces aren’t delivering what they’re supposed to, then the team won’t be successful. Unless each person has a defined set of outcomes, how will you know why the team outcomes aren’t being met? A role and outcome statement for each member will identify the gaps in team outcomes so the cause can be diagnosed.
Drives Autonomy to Deliver Outcomes
When a manager communicates the expected outcomes—“Here’s what I expect you to produce”—but allows the employee to decide how they’ll do it, the sense of autonomy increases, which is good for the employee. And now the manager is free to manage outcomes, not micromanage methods.
When a manager is aware of employee outcomes, she can look for opportunities to delegate. For example, instead of representing the department herself in an interdepartmental meeting, she can send her employee if he has an appropriate outcome. Now that’s meaningful delegation.
As you see, there are big benefits of establishing a role and outcome statement for every employee. The effort it takes will be worth it.
Next let’s talk about how to write one.