Why Job Descriptions Can Be A Manager's Best Friend

Job Descriptions vs. Job Realities

Do your employees know what’s expected of them each day? Do they know which metrics equal success in their roles? And do their actual tasks match their job description? These can be hard questions to answer. The everyday realities of running an organization are not so easily outlined and distributed. Sometimes things just get done by whoever is deemed best at them.  

Use Job Descriptions as a Guide

When you were hiring your employees, you probably had some form of a job description – either listed in the job post or shared with job candidates. You may have used it in talking with the candidates about the job and with new hires as they started their day to day tasks.

But how does that position align now with the job description? Has the role itself evolved? Has your employee shown other skill sets and been assigned to projects in other departments?

Reassessing job descriptions over time is critical to defining each employee’s function within your organization. What role are they playing? Is that the best use of their time and skills? And is that in the best interest of the organization?

The Exemption Question

One of the driving differences between an exempt employee and non-exempt involves that employees tasks.  

There are also certain roles, such as outside sales, that may qualify an employee for an exempt status.

Properly defining an employee as exempt or non-exempt is critical, as it defines how they are to be paid, among other things. (You can read more about the differences here.)

Defining the Job to the Talent

We highly recommend reexamining the roles of each employee regularly, by updating their job description. You can do this by talking to the employee about their regular tasks, anything extra they do and the autonomy and supervision they have. You can then use this to make any necessary changes to their job description - as well as any performance review markers or management systems.

We guide our clients through this process with our unique Job Analysis Questionnaire. We give this to every employee in our client’s organization and then evaluate how those line up with the overall goals and structure of the company. To learn more about this process, contact us today.