Do your employees’ jobs match their job description? Seriously, go pull them out. Some of us have job descriptions that were written a million years ago. Do they still reflect the job as it stands today? You might be surprised if you took a look.
I’m a big believer in pulling out job descriptions when it is time to conduct employee appraisals. First of all, we really should be evaluating people based on the job we hired them to do. By pulling the job descriptions, it forces you to take a hard look at the position and the responsibilities and tasks the person should be living up to. If the job has really evolved, we need to revise the job description and make sure we convey the new expectations. It’s not fair to hold people to standards they don’t know they are being held to. And we are certainly not setting them up for success. Consider an admin who came on board simply to answer phones and log in service calls. As he or she grows, they take on the responsibility of actually dispatching the techs. Further, they become in charge of closing out the tech’s work orders. If you had to replace that person, would you use the same job description you had when you hired them? You shouldn’t, if you want someone to do what that admin is doing now. So make sure you update that job description for the person currently in the job. Reward them for taking on more responsibility. It doesn’t always have to be a salary increase, but if it is warranted, fight for it.
If you are clear in the expectations, and hold the people accountable, it makes performance management so much easier. If you haven’t updated the job description, you may hear something like, “Hey, I wasn’t even hired to do that in the first place.” The job description is a great point of reference during performance management conversations, but only if it is relevant. Then there is little room for argument.
Speaking of accountability, I often hear people say that attitude is the hardest thing to hold people accountable for. I suggest putting attitude into the job descriptions. I used to have 5 attributes that were on everyone’s job description. They were things like, Communicates with respect; Is a good team player; and my personal favorite, Is willing to go the extra mile for their co-workers and customers. Whenever someone was tempted to say, “It’s not my job,” they knew my answer would be, “It’s everyone’s job!”
Thoughts…….. Contact me at abbe@TECResourceCenter.com
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