Management Accountability and Performance Measurement

Source: The Topf Organization
There is a concern in industry today regarding the best method to measure safety and environmental performance
There is a concern in industry today regarding the best method to measure safety and environmental performance as both an indicator of safe practice, as well as, an effective way to evaluate, review, and maintain employee (management and line) accountability and their level of responsibility and performance.

Traditionally safety and environmental performance has been measured by OSHA and EPA statistical systems. If stats are low then performance is good. If stats rise, then performance is poor. Rewards, bonuses, raises, promotions, and incentives of various sorts are dependent on the 'numbers', and their rise and fall.

The conventional wisdom today is that low or high safety and environmental statistics are not necessarily the best indicators of whether or not management and line employees are focusing on safety and the environment in their daily activities and are behaving safely or not. Numbers can be low while risk behaviors are rampant. It is also well known and accepted that numerical performance measurement systems can contribute greatly to creating a "fear" environment. In this kind of environment people become reluctant to report incidents of any type out of a concern for the consequences which may result in a "penalty", such as loss of an incentive, raise, promotion, etc, or lowered self-esteem being the one who caused the poor record or loss of the reward.

The intent of this process is to create a fair and equitable system through the development of a set of criteria that will accurately measure an employees commitment to and demonstration of necessary and appropriate activities, that if carried out in an efficient and effective manner, will influence safety and environmental performance positively and ultimately result in the prevention of accidents, injuries, and environmental incidents.

The OES Performance Measurement System is designed to utilize designated staff within a company/plant to engage in a process which will create and design the criteria, measurement standards, and resulting rewards and consequences for varying levels of effectiveness in carrying out their required responsibilities. Skills will be provided that will enable staff to conduct an evaluation and feedback session which allows for coaching, counseling, and correction to positively reinforce and/or improve performance in a constructive, empowering manner.

This system will create a combination of appropriate incentives and motivational mechanisms while allowing for a meaningful dialogue between managers, supervisors and their direct reports. This will also establish fair and motivating objectives that tie directly into incentives and rewards.

This process and system will:

  • Create a performance measurement review system.
  • Set up performance expectations that capture business goals and objectives.
  • Determine specific activities and behaviors which support essential standards of performance.
  • Utilize an internal task force representing various levels of employees and departments involved to help develop required criteria, activities, tasks, actions and behaviors necessary to instill safety and environmental responsibility on a daily basis.
  • Develop a merit system that fairly acknowledges and rewards meeting various levels of performance criteria.
  • Develop an evaluation format listing criteria, levels of performance, and areas for improvement.
  • Include qualitative standards i.e. safety leadership skills, positive attitudes, role modeling, level of involvement, developing employees safety attitudes and behaviors, teamwork, etc.
  • Determine an effective method for communication and training of employees in the performance requirements, activities, and skills that they will be accountable for.
  • Train evaluators in the coaching, counseling, and constructive discipline skills and techniques necessary to empower their staff, as well as, provide constructive feedback and correction to improve performance.

The Topf Organization, 3000 Valley Forge Circle, Suite G-15, King of Prussia, PA 19406. Tel: 610-783-1776; Fax: 610-783-1775.