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Why You Should Dump Your Job Descriptions

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Why You Should Dump Your Job Descriptions

It’s time to forget about the traditional type of job descriptions we use in business today.
 

In my opinion, the typical job description is a very static document that is used only once in either employment or in training of a team member. In most cases, it is shown to the individual once and then forgotten about until something goes wrong, and we waive it at them stating, “You didn’t do your job.” Very few of you (if any) come to work each day and decide to update your job descriptions. So deal with it—in its current format it’s useless!

What I suggest to my clients is that when they are ready to define a job, they do it in two steps.

First, create a statement of the “essence” of the role in which you define specifically:
 

  • Why the job exists;
  • What you expect in terms of a result or outcome from it;
  • How that outcome “contributes” to your company’s performance and growth; and,
  • How the company and its customers benefit from having this position.
     

From the answers to these questions, we make the document more relevant to the job at hand by identifying what the company is trying to accomplish in both the short- and long-term.

Plus, it shows the employee very clearly where and how they can contribute, and where they can make a difference. When this occurs, you increase the chances of the employee becoming engaged and focusing on doing the right things at the right time on a consistent basis.

After you’ve created this “essence” statement, you’re in a better position to create a list of both the strategic and tactical job duties for the position that support this opening statement. You would identify the top 8 to 10 key tasks that you want the person in the role to perform. Not only does this help the individual understand the scope of their responsibilities and accountabilities.

In addition to the above, if you define a position in the way in which I am suggesting, you have a better chance of developing a meaningful training plan for that individual which would include specific measurable items that can be tracked.

What’s the next step? Write your own “essence” statement. You might be surprised to learn what you are supposed to be doing.

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