A very interesting thing happened. I have a client (typical Entrepreneurial IT SME), doing well. Profitable, stable but somewhere clearly operating at a sub-optimal level….The employees, though talented and capable, were not operating at their full capacity. Things used to happen where the person was good and did not where they were not. Accountability and (in some way) responsibility was defused)…
Obviously, it needed to be fixed.
The most obvious solution that came to mind (of everyone) was write JD and KRA’s of every position, make people aware of their JD’s and KRA’s, make it clear to everyone that from now onward THAT will be way people will be measured and people performing will be rewarded or not.
All went well as the things got launched….
And then, suddenly the realization came that the atmosphere in the organization which was earlier more warm, family like, friendly is beginning to get spoilt….people (specially middle and senior managers) were fighting with each other….things were getting worrisome so one decided to get into details…
Here is what we found….everyone wanted to meet the JD and KRA’s at all costs. Suddenly I, me, myself was becoming the mantra. If cooperation meant compromising one’s own output it was not even considered (even if it helped the organization overall)….
The perplexing part was that all large companies have JD and KRA’s but things never go to this extent…
I thought I will share this learning with all of you…here are the findings/learning/my two cents of wisdom for you all to consider.
As always, please do share your thoughts and enrich the discussion…here it goes:
- Before going the JD and KRA way, place special emphasis on orienting, educating and coaching people on what this system means and why it is being implemented. Make them understand that JD and KRA’s are nothing but like a lighthouse (a self-direction finder)….
- Don’t implement it in one shot. Make it a two-step implementation i.e. in the first year let JD and KRA’s be there but do not use them for any serious employee related decisions. Tell people that you won’t and then actually don’t.
- Use that year for educating employees, making them used to it, removing kinks and problems (trust me there will be many), making the system realistic (when implementing first time, sometimes we go overboard).
- Start with something basic and simple, gradually year after year (or you could even do six monthly) do refinements.
- In the beginning reward people if they achieve what you want them to achieve and only consul/coach in case of failure.
- Let the culture of JD & KRA germinate, nurtured and become strong, then implement it fully.
It is most definitely a very useful thing to have just time and execute it carefully.