Job Description

Every role in your business should have a Job Description. It’s one of the triple foundations of performance management:

  • Job Description: so people know what activities they should be doing
  • Objectives: so your team members know what they are to achieve
  • Performance review: so that things can be improved… even they are already good

These three things are also known as ‘the level playing field’.

But there is an issue with Job Descriptions and that’s that the paper they are written on cannot be a mile long… and that’s what’s needed in EB. We can’t afford for any member of our team not to be flexible and the catch all final bullet point of ‘…and anything else management requires’ just doesn’t wash.

It was really brought home to me last week when I was working in a small business, which employs fifteen or so people.

It’s a high tech business and that means there are a number of geeks… sorry, I meant boffins, who deal with various bits of electronic wizardry.

The thing is the boss of the business is an out and out marketer and salesman and makes no bone about it. He’s built a multi million pound business through sweat, tears and probably a bit of blood… some of it may have even been his own.

But it’s left a legacy. He can’t move away from the sales role to manage the business because everyone else relies on him to bring home the bacon.

Now, it’s not fair to suggest any of the team actually said ‘I’m not doing that, it’s not on my Job Description’ but they might as well have. They didn’t have to say it; their actiosn were speaking louder than words.

Until last week. And all it took was a question: ‘Whose responsibility is business development?’

There was a bit of a silence and then a dawning of understanding.

I spoke to the boss earlier today and it’s been like a new business. The geeks (sorry, boffins) were talking with customers, asking them for their plans and suggesting extra products… in short, making sales.

And it’s not even on their Job Descriptions.

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