The Power Of The 4R Document

Giving your team members clarity on their role and how it impacts the business is one of the most important things you can do as a leader.

I believe every team member truly wants to do a great job. If they are an under-performer in your eyes there is a great chance they aren’t clear on their role or how they can influence other team member’s work or important business metrics.

In my experience, you won’t hear about an employee having a lack of clarity on their role until reviews happen or compensation adjustments are due.

It can be really hard to know the right path forward for them if you don’t work with them on a day to day basis.

Why Use A 4R Document

At Carrot, we implemented the 4R doc around 2017 and it’s been an incredibly valuable tool for us.

The 4 “R’s” stand for

  1. Role
  2. Responsibilities
  3. Results
  4. Requirements

These are standard sections of hiring documents but can often become boilerplate and non-helpful.

The purpose of the 4R document is to give clear expectations and alignment on what they are required to do.

If they want career advancement they can look at the 4R doc for their next role and see what would be required or expected and start building those skillsets now.

The hardest part of creating one of these documents is the “Results” section. Here are some tips to make a great result section

  • The metric MUST be easy to measure and report
  • You NEED to have a baseline so they know what has historically been accomplished
  • Consider challenging them with a good/better/best model (10% is good but 25% is great)
  • The results or metrics must be something they can DIRECTLY impact (not team or company metrics)

When To Create Or Update A 4R Doc

Before you hire a new team member, you should have a 4R document that is agreed upon with all levels of leadership. This allows for alignment and communication on how the role will impact the business. For example, if you want to hire a product marketer, you should make sure the product team and marketing team are clear on where this role will land, the activities they will perform and the metrics they will own.

This will make on-boarding the new hire much smoother.

4R docs aren’t static documents. You are allowed to change them. If you are having issues getting results from a team member, you can align around the 4R doc and see why they aren’t able to report results.

Download A Sample 4R Doc

Don’t overcomplicate it. Look at your current hiring process and see if you can pull the job description, requirements, etc and pull them into this 4R doc.

Are you clear on how this role helps your business? If yes…great publish your 4R doc. If not, keep working on it until you are.

Download The 4R Template

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