Far too many companies treat job descriptions with a cavalier attitude, feeling that including statements like, “and other duties as assigned,” makes them nebulous and open at best, and useless at worst. If you treat your employees as cogs in a machine, however, you will experience poor morale and serious turnover. Having and sticking to job descriptions is an important aspect of business operations. Here’s a look at why you need strong job descriptions.
Creating job descriptions allows you to ensure that your employees are working in alignment with your company culture, vision and mission. They convey expectations about not just what duties need to be done, but how they should be accomplished and what values your company holds.
Informed HR Recruiting
Job descriptions allow your human resources management and hiring teams to be more informed when making hiring decisions and developing recruiting strategies. Applicant pools will be stronger as people will come to you who are uniquely qualified to meet the needs you have outlined.
Job descriptions can also form an important part of the interview process. By comparing the description to your applicant’s file and resume, you will be able to form intelligent interview questions that tap into your exact and specific needs.
Training and Development
Nobody enjoys annual review time. Employees look at it as a stressful period, and all too often managers view it as a waste of time. However, if you have a strong job description in place for a given position, you can use this as a tool. If a staff member isn’t hitting certain marks, you can use the description to target areas of improvement. You can then implement staff training and development programs to help address the problem.
Further, by making sure your staff are aware of their job descriptions and review them regularly, you can be certain that they are clearly aware of the expectations you have of them. There will be no surprises and no unclear areas.
A clear job description means that nobody’s work responsibilities are nebulous. You can use these documents as a powerful tool for awarding proper compensation to those whose levels of qualifications and responsibilities deserve it.
This can help employees feel that they are being rewarded and fairly compensated for a good day’s work, while avoiding faux pas such as lower-level staffers being compensated higher than those who do more work or have more responsibility. It also helps avoid the embarrassment of the old, “don’t talk about your compensation” policies, which aren’t always that effective.
Recognition of Performance
Job descriptions can also be used in a positive way to recognize those employees who excel at their duties. By using the description as a performance baseline, you can encourage staff to perform above and beyond expectations by implementing an awards system. Whether it’s a monetary bonus or a recognition plaque, employees enjoy being noted for doing their job well.