Robert R. Picard, Ann M. Hackert
Journal of Critical Incidents
January 01, 2016
Mitch Mainhardt was ultimately responsible for hiring and developing the professionals in his office. He and Joy Jones were reviewing staff utilization for two accountants: Jennifer and Jason. Both were in similar stages in their career, but their utilization metrics hinted at different issues that might need addressing. Staff utilization is one measure used by firms to evaluate the economic contribution of staff members and identify other issues that might require management intervention. Many professional service firms, though, have begun to consider moving away from using utilization as a primary input in performance appraisals due to potentially adverse effects on job satisfaction and staff retention. However, monitoring utilization still provided management with opportunities to identify and address issues at both ends of the utilization spectrum. What is staff utilization? How can staff utilization metrics be used as pointers to help management develop and retain staff?