Internal Improvement Metrics

Valuable Job Descriptions Focus on the “Have”, not the “Do”

Be you a supervisor or employee, let me ask, when was the last time you looked at your job description for guidance as to what you should be doing and what you are accountable for? “Never”, you say? Likely that is the case. Why is that?

The only redeeming value I have experienced in job descriptions is their use in evaluating the relative worth of various jobs in an organization. That is, determining what you should be paid compared with everyone else. Once that is done, the value is done.

Why? Because job descriptions only attempt to define what you do, not what you achieve. But “doing” is not what you are accountable for. I don’t know about you, but I have known many a person who complains about being overworked, having too much to do, etc. but who doesn’t get a product at the end of the day that adds value to the company. Yet, those products are what one should be accountable for when all is said and done.

So, when I am asked to help companies re-organize, I insist that job descriptions include the following elements: Holding Blank Score Cards

  • Purpose: why does the organization have this job? What is its importance? This is something an employee should know.
  • Products: what are the measurable end results the employee is accountable for?
  • Measures of Success: what is the organization going to track to measure that the employee has been successful in the job?

There are other pieces I also recommend, but the fundamental shift that is of import here is that “doingness” is easily accomplished and may or may not be of value. The real value lies in the results or products, and those are what the organization, and the employee, should be focused on.

What’s been your experience? Drop me an e-mail to share your thoughts.

Bill Dann