Clear job description development and tracking
|The Best of:
to Define Expected Employee Performance
Where do you begin?
Ideally, form follows function. Job descriptions should be derived from the productivity need. Begin with a job analysis.
Design or Refine the Requirements
Step 1: Job Analysis
Perfection at the start is not necessary.
Use the following questions to complete this step.
Describe the product and service is of the position.
Then complete the following statement: “I need this position to _____.” And list everything that comes to mind.
Step 2: Function
Using what you created in Step 1, create a more serious list (one that you may want to actually publish in the employee manual) listing every single specific task or function.
Depending on the responsibility level of the position, the generality of this step will vary. Someone at a professional level with a good degree of responsibility will have a job description reflecting broader tasks such as
Whereas, someone at a lower tier in the organization would have a job list containing items like this:
If you need ideas for job description activities, the US Government has a full list of standards, classification factors, qualifications, grade level criteria, and OMAGOD more documentation than you would ever want to look at, except to cure insomnia. Would you expect anything less than an exhaustive publication from the Feds?
Note that you may not find something specific, such as a lawyer job description or a financial aid job description.
Step 3: Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (fondly referred to as KSA)
List the following:
Knowledge – the information that the employee must have in order to perform the job.
Skill – a competence in a learned activity that results in an observable outcome.
Ability – the competence and aptitude to perform the task.
Step 4: Physical characteristic
Some jobs require physical attributes. A pilot must be within certain height limits. A field technician may be required to lift a certain weight. And so on. You get it.
Step 5: Credentials and Experience and Other
Describe your minimal acceptance level of education, experience, credentialing, certification needed for the job, as well as the preferred levels.
Include here anything else that makes sense that has not been covered.
Step 6: Behavioral Requirements (too often overlooked)
Consider a customer service rep job description that is heavy in behavior, vocal tone, and initiative to problem-solve.
Requirements in this area might include:
Regular performance feedback to others
Take initiative when in doubt of what to do
Positive attitude when interacting with customers
This level of performance feedback is more and more mainstream. You absolutely CAN include it in an employee development plan.
Remember the symphony analogy?
Your jobs should absolutely be described with a balance – the sheet music and the sound, the instruments and the training, the alignment AND the attunement.
Make the Requirements STICK
Step 7: Incorporate job requirements
Review them when setting goals
Check for understanding of behavioral goals
Identify measurables that say tasks are being met
Identify observables that say expected behaviors are being met
Train and develop to these requirements
Include a discussion of the tasks and behaviors during the annual review process.
Consider a job description contract, which may be nothing more then a signature acknowledging an understanding of the job. If you need it to have legal substance, use a reputable employment lawyer.