Job Descriptions: Alone = Ineffective tool

As part of your Performance Management Initiative ….


Growing a business is not like fixing a flat tire – using a job description to “patch” the gaps in performance may get you through a few miles, but doesn’t prepare for the journey to success.

Managing performance is more attuned to the dance of relationships.  The job description should act as a framework of universal expectations.  It is through discussion, agreement, evaluations and conversational exchanges that the intent comes alive.

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  •  Why should I write a winning job description?

    • Accountability and Action! It becomes the motivational tool designed to guide and inspire your employees regarding your expectations of them.  Without clearly defining those expectations, there are no mechanisms in place to support accountability.

  • What Categories and Content should I include?

    • Categories such as:

      • Role Priorities and Accountability – which are 3-4 broad topics with weighted percentages

      • Position Summary

      • Role Qualifications

      • Essential Work Skills Differentiating Between Desired and Required Skills

      • Educational Preferences

    • A job analysis should be performed to understand the tasks, needs of the organization to produce work, and clearly describe the responsibilities and skills required. Content should be specific to the job requirements and expectations, and cover what you want the position to grow into.  Be mindful to include allowances for additional special projects to accommodate course adjustments, growth, and coverage.

  • How do I use a job description to manage performance?

    • On-boarding – carefully review and gain agreement on the responsibilities and expectations

    • Quarterly Review – to stay on track, support growth and development using their IDP

    • Biweekly (or other defined regularly defined) one-to-one meetings to prioritize, pace, and fine tune responsibilities and tasks

  • What happens if I leave it vague and do not specify skills required and tasks expected?

    • The company is vulnerable to litigation in the case of a disgruntled employee or termination. 

    • Other employees are required to fill the performance gaps and they often experience a decline in morale, which may lead to an exit from the company for greener pastures.

    • The impact on the culture and perceptions of the employer may result in other detrimental ramifications.