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How to raise truly responsible employees? 3 effective steps

Study guide

Employee responsibility; A phrase that has been talked about a lot in business. Perhaps less addressed is why, despite all the efforts made to strengthen employee accountability, the level is still low in many businesses and organizations. Maybe we should change our attitude towards some things, including employees and the way we evaluate them. Stay with us until the end of this article.

If you ask company employees how much they look forward to performance appraisal day, you will probably find that many of them are not happy about it. Fewer terms, such as “evaluation” and “responsibility,” can be found to cause concern when spoken in the workplace. This is not surprising, because for decades businesses and corporate executives have been following rigorous methods to evaluate the performance of their organization and employees.

However, research in the workplace shows that these methods are not only ineffective, but also demean employees; for example:

  • About 82% of managers say they can not hold people accountable for their actions. On the other hand, 91% of employees believe that in order for people to take effective responsibility, their company’s performance appraisal sector needs to be improved.
  • Only 14% of employees believe that the results of their evaluation have a positive effect on improving their performance.
  • Only 21% of employees believe that their evaluation criteria are commensurate with their duties.
  • About 41% of employees think that their manager evaluates them solely on the basis of the goals he / she has set.
  • Nearly 70% of employees believe that managers do not have objective criteria in their review.
  • Finally, 70% of employees believe that they can not develop all their capabilities in the workplace.

The combination of these studies leads us to the conclusion that the current methods of evaluating performance and promoting employee accountability are inefficient.

The problem with current ways of taking responsibility

The main problem with current employee accountability practices is that you rate them. When you rely on a series of numbers to evaluate employee performance, you gradually forget the human nature of the job. By categorizing employees into different groups and ranks, you provide the ground for all kinds of worries and dissatisfaction; For example, an employee who has just dropped from 4th to 3rd may think, “How could you give me 3 ?! I always got 4! “Now, just because you have to give a certain number 4, did you remove me from the top list ?!”

Reactions like this show that what should have been a useful evaluation has become a tough competition that destroys the spirit of empathy between people and destroys the working relationship between employees and managers or employees with each other. This is no exception. The results of neuroscience research have shown that placing people in numerical classifications really upsets them and makes them feel insecure.

Three steps to transform the structure of performance appraisal

Now that the processes of evaluating and promoting employee accountability are inefficient, what can be done to make a difference? Ron Karouki, a leading researcher in the field for 30 years, has concluded that in order to transform the performance appraisal structure and change the culture of the field, business leaders need to put three fundamental attitudes on their agenda:

  1. Strengthen dignity and self-esteem;
  2. Focus on fairness;
  3. Focus on improving instead of blaming.

1. Strengthen dignity and self-esteem

The consequences of managers' judgment on employee accountability must be considered

Managers need to understand the consequences of their judgments. Neurological research has shown that what others think of us affects the quality of our performance. If managers believe that their job is not to judge others, but to create an environment for their abilities to flourish and increase employee active participation, they will strengthen the foundation of accountability among employees. There are two ways to achieve this goal:

  1. Instead of focusing on mandatory monthly or daily reports, talk to staff. Ask questions like, “What did you learn this month?” And “Which card were you most satisfied with this month?” Questions like these strengthen the employee-manager relationship and make employees eager to talk about their accomplishments and difficulties.
  2. Responsibility is enhanced when, instead of monitoring and controlling, maintaining the dignity of individuals is the basis for examining their performance. When employees feel that their managers are paying close attention to their accomplishments, they will be less inclined to hide their performance weaknesses. When managers focus on the success of their employees instead of documenting performance weaknesses, employees become more inclined to talk about those weaknesses and receive guidance. One of the best ways to talk to employees is to listen to their stories. Instead of focusing on the end result and saying a simple “don’t get bored” or “goodbye”, ask them to explain the ups and downs of their journey.

Doing so improves the quality of feedback and learning among employees. There is also a sense of worth and dignity between them. In such an environment, employees see performance appraisal not as a difficult task, but as an opportunity to express themselves, demonstrate their abilities, and learn.

2. Focus on fairness

According to Ron Karuki’s research, having a fair structure for performance appraisal improves employee honesty and responsibility fourfold. When they feel they are being judged fairly, they are less inclined to hide their mistakes and work more for the benefit of the organization than just their own interests.

Although the main “fairness” is obvious, the performance appraisal structure of businesses often confuses fairness with equality. This structure behaves in a way that increases the cognitive bias of managers and deprives employees of the possibility of litigation. In fact, such structures behave unfairly in practice, taking into account the individual differences of individuals.

Two important changes in the structure of performance appraisal

A creative design of the difference between equality and fairness in the issue of employee accountability

By prioritizing fairness over equality, the groundwork is laid for two important changes in the structure of performance appraisal:

  1. For years, methods of evaluating the performance of individuals have been considered separately from the individuals themselves. In other words, in evaluations, it is not the individuality of the individual that matters, but only the statistics that he or she has obtained. This attitude may have been effective in the age of industrial economics, but in today’s knowledge-based economy, ideas and creativity, and in a word, individuality, cannot be separated from one’s performance. On this account, it is fair to consider the employee and his or her unique characteristics in evaluating his or her performance. It is the nature of today’s jobs that personalizes evaluation.
  2. The second change that comes with a focus on fairness is the revelation of cognitive biases and biases. Numerous studies have shown that different businesses implicitly grant or take away privileges from some employees due to cognitive bias. These biases take many forms, from ethnic and racial prejudices to religious and gender beliefs. A fair review of the structure and process of performance appraisal by asking key questions reveals these biases; Questions such as: “What are the evaluation criteria that lead to receiving points?” Or “Who set these criteria and on what basis?” By making this process fair, all employees, regardless of their talent level, have the opportunity to develop their abilities.

Work experience of one of the managers of store companies

To better understand the application of fairness in the performance appraisal structure, Ron Karouki defines the work experience of a store manager:

When I started as a manager, I was given a number of forms. Forms with wide and long tables in which I had to record the performance of my team in the form of numbers and figures. I said to myself, “Why should anyone do such a useless thing ?!” So instead of these forms, I decided to ask my employees, “What do you think the situation is?” And they were often more strict with me. I also asked them, “What needs do you have that I can provide?” I think such an approach was more humane.

He also approached company employees and asked them to participate in setting new evaluation criteria. In this way, both a better evaluation structure was achieved and employees were shown more responsibility for meeting those criteria. “When employees are involved in setting standards, they are much more inclined to achieve it and often do better than that,” he says.

To be fair, شناس anonymously survey your employees.. Ask them: Do they think they are the employees you like the most, do they all have fair competition, and do they discriminate between people in the workplace?

3. Focus on improving instead of blaming

Focus on strengths, not weaknesses

One of the reasons employees shirk responsibility is the fear and shame of making mistakes. Despite the popular saying, “Failure is the prelude to victory,” employees still inadvertently tend to shy away from responsibility. what is the reason? Maybe the behavior of managers! If they see the competencies of their employees in the heart of failure, it will definitely provide a basis for changing the attitude of others.

“With a fail-acceptance approach, you can strike a balance between growth and responsibility,” said Kathleen Hogan, a senior executive at Microsoft. We strive not only to reward victories, but also to honor the failures that have led to our growth and development. We want to create a culture in which the saying “I do not know but I will find a way” becomes common. “In our opinion, learning from fractures and compensating for them is a kind of responsibility.”

Leaders must be humble and patient to turn the fear and shame of failure into a responsible effort to make amends. They need to look at the employee’s career path, not just the positive and negative results of his or her efforts. Managers must also accept their role and the structure of their organization in employee failures. They should ask themselves if they have had enough resources, tools and assistance for their employees.


Restructuring in any field is not an easy task. This is always time consuming. There is still a long way to go before small and large businesses realize that they need to change the structure of their performance appraisal. However, paying attention to the dignity of employees, evaluating them as a human being with special personal characteristics, and focusing on fairness can be the starting point of this transformation.

What experience do you have in dealing with inefficient structures as a manager who evaluates or an employee who is evaluated? What is the evaluation criterion in your work environment? Do you consider the evaluation process fair? It is good to share your experience with us.




How to raise truly responsible employees? 3 effective steps

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