Defining roles clearly, leaders lay the foundation for excellent teaching, coaching, evaluation, and improvement. Our role clarity methodology consists of four components:
- Assign one owner per role. Every role has one “owner” responsible for specifying how the role is to be performed. Typically, the owner is the lowest-level manager responsible for all the people who perform a role.
- Apply an activity-based format. Each role has a specific purpose and consists of five to seven “major activities” that are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. The owner defines, with help from team members and others with insights about the role, how an incumbent is to perform each major activity, and specifies the results expected.
- Define steps within roles. A person may advance within a role by sustaining a particularly high level of productivity, by accepting a larger span of control, by performing more complex activities, or by guiding others in the role. By clarifying steps within a role, a leader enables team members to contribute more to the organization, and the leader illuminates opportunities for advancement within the team.
- Improve through regular review. When a leader or team member identifies a better way of performing an activity, the owner edits the role definition, triggering updates to training, coaching, and evaluation. These updates accelerate performance improvement companywide.
After applying our model, most clients see role clarity as the most practical and powerful step toward improving performance.