Avoid Probs by Describing Jobs

There are many effective strategies that can be employed by companies focusing on maintaining success, expanding their brand outreach, or looking to hire.  But one necessity can sometimes be overlooked: comprehensive job descriptions.

Thorough job descriptions are obviously needed to summarize jobs for recruitment and hiring purposes, they are also an integral part of sustaining internal order.  Employers can utilize job descriptions to meet a number of company initiatives.  Job descriptions are a great way to align your employees’ jobs to the mission, vision, and goals of the company.  While the optimal situation is for employees to always have a total understanding of how and why their role is important to the business’ operations, there are bound to be moments when they are left scratching their heads about what the point really is. Having informative, up-to-date job descriptions on hand can provide a guiding light in times where employees are feeling unsure.

When further clarification of expectations is required, job descriptions can come in handy. Sometimes you need to ask more of your employees than you typically would, and it can leave them feeling overworked.  However, if you take the time beforehand to include all of their responsibilities in their job descriptions — even the ones that are occasional at most — then your employees should have no misunderstandings about what is expected of them.  And, don’t forget the key phase “Other duties as assigned that align with the mission, vision, and goals of the organization.”

Job descriptions are a key tool for supervisors to manage employee performance.  Just as employees can sometimes feel unsure about their roles, employers will find it difficult to assess if their employees are achieving their goals and objectives if expectations are not clearly delineated.  Job descriptions provide an outline or roadmap for supervisors to determine if the employee is accomplishing what is expected.

Job descriptions are necessary for compensation-related decisions.  In addition to aiding in determining appropriate and fair compensation for each employee’s position, job descriptions are needed to determine the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) classification (exempt/non-exempt status) for compliance purposes.  Especially for positions that are classified as “exempt,” job descriptions should be written in a way that supports the specific exemption(s) available for the jobs.

Finally, for employees with medical conditions that may be covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), job descriptions outline the essential job duties that employees must be able to accomplish with or without accommodation and will be required for a doctor’s certification of employee’s disability.

Job descriptions make everyone’s jobs easier.  Use them as a resource to clarify expectations, manage performance, and make compensation and other important employment-related decisions.

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