How to Measure Employee Accountability

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Measuring employee accountability requires setting objective goals you can track, as well as employer responses when you learn the outcomes. The term “employee accountability” means different things to different business people, so you’ll need to define that metric as you develop your workforce monitoring policies and procedures.

Define Employee Accountability

The first step in setting up a method for measuring employee accountability is to define exactly what you want to monitor and track. You might use the word “accountability” simply to refer to outcomes, such as number of units produced per month, number of hours billed per week, sales volumes per rep, phone calls made per week or customer service ratings via surveys returned. Your definition might refer to the ramifications of employee outcomes. For example, if you set a $100,000-per-month sales goal for one of your reps and she only sells $75,000 each month, the employee’s accountability will take the form of your response. The accountability for missing her goal might include expanding or contracting her territory, not giving her a bonus, assigning her a mentor or firing her. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management recommends including rewards, not just punishment, in accountability programs.

Set Goals vs. Outcomes

Set specific objectives for each employee so you can measure performance fairly and accurately. This will help you determine the benefits to the company of reaching these goals, the problems missing these goals cause the business and the response you’ll need to take to address the problem. Work with department heads, each employee’s direct supervisor and individual employees to set the performance goals for which staff members will be held accountable. If you don’t have written job descriptions for each employee, create them to help guide your goal-setting, assist supervisors in managing subordinates and allow employees to understand exactly what’s expected of them.

Analyze Objective and Subjective Performance Metrics

Once you’ve set your goals and objectives, review the performance of your employees. In addition to analyzing objective measurements, such as attendance and outputs, look at subjective performance characteristics. These can include employee innovation, people skills, leadership abilities, teamwork and contribution to company morale. Use a point scale from 1 to 10 to rate how well employees perform in each area. Assign a final score to each employee’s overall performance, based on how each position -- not employee -- performed for the company based on your expectation for the position when you created it.

Conduct Employee Reviews

Using your goals, objectives, measurements and analysis of position performance, hold an annual performance review for each employee. List the objectives you set for each employee and his position and write the outcomes, possible reasons for them, what response you might need to take based on these outcomes and whether or not you need to reassess the employee’s job description. Get input from managers before you meet with employees, and allow employees to submit a pre-review self-assessment with recommendations.

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About the Author

Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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