Reinventing Job Descriptions - Part I

This text is second part of “Reinventing Job Descriptions”. It will give you important guidelines how to properly benefit from the job descriptions. It will provide some crucial recommendation and solutions in order to set proper organisation and achieve goals much easier.

By Ivan Marković | Job Descriptions, HR, Organisational development, Benefits, Management |

This text is second part of “Reinventing Job Descriptions”. It will give you important guidelines how to properly benefit from the job descriptions. It will provide some crucial recommendation and solutions in order to set proper organisation and achieve goals much easier.

This text is second part of “Reinventing Job Descriptions” and heavily relay on some points made in first text. If you already have not read “Reinventing Job Descriptions – Part 1”, please do. If you have, this text will give you important solutions and recommendation in order to avoid mistakes explained in first part and give you guidelines on how to use this important organizational tool.

To properly benefit from the job descriptions, follow some of the guidelines that will help you:

  • Do not make changes too frequently

There is no need to go to extremes, and to make frequent job description changes. Not every project is a reason to change the description, that can be achieved with goals, activities and objectives. Descriptions should be adjusted when the purpose or key goals are changed, when a new post is introduced, or more jobs are merged, or when organization's strategic goals are modified. With frequent changes employees will just stop paying their attention.

  • Put sufficient resources in making and maintaining

It is simply not good enough to give someone, whom this is not the primary assignment, nor the expertise, to make and keep the job descriptions up to date. This is an important process, in which higher management must be actively involved. The goal is to make a good inter-connection and to describe all the functions that the organization requires to achieve strategic and operational goals.
Without investing proper time and money in this process, the results are weak, which leads to more problems. Although in many places it is said that profitability (ROI) is 10+ times, the investment is sometimes invaluable, as it defines whether the company will develop further. Good job descriptions and goal setting system always allows for greater flexibility, better responsiveness and adaptability of the company, and sometimes represent the difference between success and failure.
And, therefore, give job descriptions to someone who knows how to make them, and not to "the girl who calculates salaries", because "the lady in legal department" is in pre-menopause, so let’s not to bother her. Hire professionals.

  • Engage on understanding the importance of the description

In short, employees need to know what is written in the descriptions. If they do not know, everything was in vain. And their managers must know for both themselves and their employees. Really must. No excuses.  And to understand why they have to actively engage, and ensure that employees understand responsibilities. When this becomes standard and normal, the company is really on the right track. That's why it's really worth investing in good descriptions.

Now, let us look at the new techniques of writing job descriptions. And in this business there is a fashion and there are things that experts who are working on making profiles and job descriptions are trying to improve. However, this primarily refers to those organizations that already have well-developed HR department. That is why we will here talk about the guidelines that will make job descriptions modern and adapted to the circumstances in which we all operate.

  • No more "and performs all other activities at the request of the manager"

Descriptions that have mentioned 10 items and at the end of which it says the famous sentence "and performs other duties determined by the head," are pretty much thing of the past, because they have a very bad effect on the organization and conduct of managers. Why then even mention those 10 activities? Write job title and place to carry out all the orders of the manager. Simply, you leave a lot of space and ambiguity, which is not the goal. It is also important that managers know what they can count on.

  • Special job descriptions for executives

Another guideline refers precisely to the description of managers. It is highly recommended that their descriptions look different. The focus is more on objectives, employee management and it is also important step in preparation for the easy implementation of the management and performance measurement systems. When the descriptions are made in this way, it significantly speeds up other management processes and usually the returns invested time in the first few months. This is really an important thing. Viewed from the side of cost-effectiveness, perhaps the most important. The system which is set up in this way, will provide significant savings and allow managers to make better use of their time. Read this section again, and then, leave to the professionals who deal with it. Maybe someone from your company. Or, maybe even better, find someone external.

  • Descriptions that employees can use, understand and take home

This is not literature that someone reads because he wants, but because he needs it. For starters they need to know where their job description is and what are the key duties. The description should be given in printed form to the employees and the key parts should be explained carefully. This is the right way to take the organization seriously.

The goal is not only that an organization can rely on an individual, but also that the individual has faith in the organization and that the organization will be there when it is needed. It is on what people aspire and which are above all motivated at work (and in life), regardless of whether it is related to the system, people or relationships.

Therefore, it is necessary to be dedicate and work properly on some basic organizational elements, whose purpose and importance are sometimes forgotten. And, yes… That's why we are here :-)

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Ivan Marković
CEO of very cool & cutting edge HR company / Expert in advanced performance management, development and HR processes
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