Job descriptions are important when they are tied to organizational goals and long-term strategy. In my article 5 Step Process of Strategic Planning, we discuss how a vision drives a strategic plan. A strategic plan translates into organizational goals which dictate departmental goals within the organization. Once departmental goals are established, it is important to tie employee goals and job descriptions to organizational goals so that what employees do everyday contributes to organizational goal attainment.
A written job description is a document that lays out in detail the reporting relationship, daily tasks and responsibilities. Larger organizations that may have hundreds of job descriptions may also show experience or educational requirements for the job.
Job descriptions should be updated on an annual basis and should be part of the performance appraisal process. It should also be tied to individual goals which should support departmental goals.
Things to include in a job description:
- Department Name
- Position Purpose
- Reporting Relationship
- Job Title
- Job Reference Number
- Salary Range
ABC Printing Company
Position Purpose: To ensure all publications and communication materials represent ABC Printing in a creative, positive and professional manner.
Position Reports to: Director of Communications
Salary Range: $55,000 – $74,000
Job Number: 2010-45783
- Oversees day-to-day operations of Communications Department, including coordinating flow of weekly work assignments.
- Responsible for ensuring all written material for ABC Printing represents the organization in a creative, positive, professional manner and meets all standards of excellence.
- Responsible for ensuring Communications Department has processes in place to support timely and accurate publications production.
- Manage Communications Department staff, support staff development and problem resolution.
- Coach staff on maintaining professional work environment and one that is user friendly for ABC Printing departments.
- Consult with other ABC Printing departments and give input on communications support needs.
- Responsible for monitoring and managing staff development opportunities to ensure staff stays current with changing technical skills.
- Incorporate continuous improvement methodologies into departmental process by soliciting feedback from key user groups.
- Oversees the written copy for printed ads to fulfill approved promotional plan.
- Manage department budget and ensures fiscal responsibilities for all areas.
Mistakes managers make with job descriptions
- Not updating them on an annual basis.
- Not observing what employees do on a day-to-day basis as compared to what is written in the job description
- Not tying job description to departmental goals
Clear and concise job descriptions help employees understand what is expected of them and how what they do supports the vision of the organization. But more importantly, well defined job descriptions help organizations achieve their goals, strategic plans and ultimately, their vision.