15th March 2018

I was wrong

Yes I admit it. For several years now I have been recommending that in every business, every employee should have a job description. Clarity is everything and a job description should contain; the main purpose of the job, the measurements that the job holder can use to prove he is doing the job well and a mission a statement to show the improvement that the job holder is expected to make; in other words from x to y by z date.

I have written blogs and presented the same concepts on a number of occasions. I still believe in the fundamentals of Job Descriptions. So why do I now think I am wrong? A quality manual that is never referred to but gathers dust on a shelf has no positive value. A safety manual that props a door open, core values that aren’t alive in the business, systems and processes that nobody ever uses are all worthless. And so is a Job Description that has had no discussion, no debate and is never referred to again. They all fall into that category of important business essentials that become wastes of time as they degenerate into ‘tick box exercises’.

You can probably quickly reckon up the number of initiatives in your business that has fallen into this category over the years. One business I know of proposed all such initiatives should be printed with a footer marked ‘for B/S purposes only!”, while another complained of ‘death by a thousand initiatives’.

I had (naively) assumed that all Job Descriptions would be preceded by a discussion clarifying what the Job Description ought to contain and that should be very much a two-way discussion. I am embarrassed to realise how naïve that assumption was.

Initiatives stop being initiatives when they become woven into the fabric of the way we do things around here. When the way we do things around here is more effective than everyone else we get a competitive advantage and in this case everyone gets greater clarity.

So how do you find out how to turn the principle of Job Descriptions from an ineffective and often tedious tick box exercise into something of significant value that you will rate as essential? I can give you two options. The first is to buy, read and implement “The 3 x 5 Coach” by fellow Gazelles Coach Dave Baney, which is newly available on Amazon and the second is to come along to my next seminar where I will be discussing this along with a dozen other ways to leverage the massive talent that lies latent in your team. For details click here.