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Supervisor's viewpoint

Measure, then manage it

February 27, 2013 - I learned something a long time ago from my experiences as an automotive executive … "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it."

Detailed job descriptions, measureable goals and objectives, quarterly performance reviews, training and job coaching, and compensation based on merit --not just tenure -- are all pretty basic principles in the private business sector.

Not so much with government.

That is why Independence Township is beginning to work with a performance improvement consultant to help us create a new culture within Town Hall.

A culture where team members look at their responsibilities and budgets like it was their own personal business. A culture where money saved or efficiency gains would directly benefit their business enterprise.

A culture that:

• Establishes a clear description of what is expected from each employee.

• Identifies the key skill sets required to perform that job.

• Creates mutually agreed upon measureable goals and objectives.

• Develops processes to ensure quarterly performance feedback is given.

• Provides employees the tools and training to allow them to excel in their job.

• Rewards positive behaviors and performance excellence.

• Holds individuals accountable for sub-standard performance.

Several years ago, the township embarked on a plan to create just such an environment with limited success.

The current Township Board realizes performance metrics and personal accountability are critical as the township strives to operate in the most efficient manner and has committed $5,250 to try to bring this new mindset to government.

Is it going to be easy? No. Is it going to happen over-night? No. But every journey starts with a single step and the township has contracted with The Metiss Group to help guide us along this new path. $5,250 for a job description? Yes. And a whole lot more. Will keep you posted.

Patrick Kittle is supervisor of Independence Township.

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