How important is a Job Description?
A job description is an extremely important document for both the employee and the employer. It should be an accompaniment to the contract of employment, a one-page overview that explains to both parties clearly what is expected from an individual working in a given position within an organisation. It often includes areas such as Roles and Responsibilities, desired skill-set/qualifications reporting structure and potential goals.
Job descriptions are such a beneficial necessity when it comes to transparency in organisations despite ludicrous trains of thought that they are restrictive, if they are restrictive then you have created them incorrectly. We all know that positions within a company are fluid in nature and organically change over time dependent on business needs and employee development. The purpose of the Job description is to detail the foundations of a given role, the basics that must be done to allow this position to operate effectively at a fundamental level. When things get extremely busy in work we occasionally get lost in tasks and find ourselves operating outside of our allocated areas of responsibility or remit, sometimes by request from management sometimes not. Although this situation can be healthy as it promotes personal growth, we always need a reference point to return to, and the job description allows this.
It can be extremely frustrating & stressful for an employee not to understand fully what his/her job is, a job description prevents this. It is also important to point out that companies that don’t use Job descriptions are walking a rocky road, for instance, how can management review an employee on performance if they have not taken the time to explain to them what their job is in the first place? Custom and practice unless well documented can be extremely subjective.
Clarity and transparency is measurable, it is healthy for both parties to know exactly what is expected, if the company pays x amount then in return a, b, c, & d is expected.
Let’s keep it simple