Defining the Key Accountabilities of the Job
Key Accountabilities are the critical success factors and clear job outcomes/drivers that define any job. A position’s accountabilities are not the same as a job description.
They answer these fundamental questions about the job:
- What must this job accomplish?
- What specifically will success look like in this job?
- What is the macro purpose(s) of this job
- Why is this job in existence?
- What is the justification for this job?
- Will this job move the organisation forward?
Accountabilities define the reasons why the position is necessary in the first place.
Bringing clarity and focus to the underlying reasons for the job helps avoid the single biggest reason why people fail in jobs. This reason is misfit or a mismatch between the person and the job. They also lay the groundwork for management to move forward in defining the supporting behaviours, motivators, skills, capacities and cultural rewards that will support successful achievement of the position’s accountabilities.
A position’s critical accountabilities are defined through a facilitated process in which participants who are familiar with the position explore, validate and quantify its “reason for being.” Those involved in the process can be chosen from employees who formerly held the position, the manager and/or a former manager of the position, and key managers/staff that interact closely with the position on a regular basis.
Examples Of Key Accountabilities:
Position Accountabilities: National Sales Manager
- Increase total annual corporate sales by a minimum of 15% (40%)
- Consistently achieve a minimum of 3% monthly regional sales increases (30%)
- Demonstrate sales leadership, measured by favourable staff feedback (15%)
- Recruit, retain and develop top sales talent while maintaining an average annual employee turnover rate of less than 10% (15%)
Position Accountabilities: Operations Manager
- Assure reliable operational systems 24×5 with 99% availability (30%)
- Administer the operations budget to no more than 100% of allotted funds (25%)
- Establish and maintain quality vendor services within allotted budget (15%)
- Proactively recommend and implement quality enhancements to operational systems, measured by a continued decrease in time, manpower and costs needed to process client orders and product shipping (15%)
- Demonstrate leadership in managing operations staff, measured by favourable staff feedback (15%)
Facilitating the Key Accountabilities Process
Follow these points with great care as you complete the process:
- Refer to the job as ‘it’.
- Remove all notions of a person or personality in the job by referring to the job or position, not the individual (s). “If the job could talk, what would it say?”
- Above all be strategic. Take the 30,000 foot perspective.
- Be specific. Put metrics on the factors emerging.
- Remove all bias from your perception of the position as a job expert.
- Take notes and list responses.