Successful organizations put systems in place to help manage employees.
The job description is part of that system.
Employees need to know what is expected of them and who to go to with questions or concerns.
Job descriptions layout reporting relationships, daily tasks, job responsibilities, and help guide employee performance.
Employees only perform to the expected level if they have a clear understanding of those expectations. And, a detailed job description helps to articulate that expectation.
It’s a tool managers use to set performance expectations and a gauge for measuring and managing that performance.
Job descriptions should be tied to organizational goals and long-term strategy.
A strategic plan is translated 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 those goals so that what employees do every day contributes to strategy and organizational goal attainment.
Job descriptions should be updated on an annual basis and used as part of the performance appraisal process.
It should also articulate individual goals that support departmental goals.
Things to include in a job description:
- Job title
- Reporting relationship
- Salary range
- Position overview
- Job responsibilities
Job Description Template
Making Job Descriptions Relevant
Managers need to constantly review job descriptions to keep them relevant to the employee’s role.
Take the following steps to ensure that employees are spending their time doing those things that help the organization fulfill its mission.
1. Update job descriptions at least annually.
Job descriptions must stay current to ensure optimal performance.
To do this, review and update job descriptions at least annually.
This update results from a conversation between the manager and the employee about job responsibilities and comparing them to changing organizational strategies.
What may have been important a year ago may no longer be critical for achieving the mission today.
Employees are relieved when outdated responsibilities are removed, particularly, when new ones are added to their job descriptions.
2. Observe what employees do every day.
It’s the manager’s responsibility to know what employees do every day.
And, to make sure that what they’re spending their time on truly reflects what is written in their job description.
I’m always amazed when I ask managers what their employees do every day, only to hear their response, “I don’t really know.” This response is often out of frustration.
A good starting point to rectify this situation is to simply ask employees to list everything they do.
This exercise will often shed some light on those things that rob employees of valuable work time.
3. Incorporate employee goals into their job description.
A strategy to achieve a mission should be what steers every organization. The strategy is implemented with organizational and departmental goals.
Departmental goals are divided among employees to share the responsibilities and to incorporate those responsibilities into daily job tasks.
Taking these steps can ensure that employees are spending their time doing those things that contribute to fulfilling the organization’s mission.
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 what the organization is trying to accomplish.
But more importantly, well-defined job descriptions help organizations achieve their strategy, goals, and ultimately, their mission.
An editable copy of this job description can be accessed by clicking here.
Note: This document is meant to serve as an example form and should not be construed as a legal document. Please contact a legal professional for legal language for your specific organization.