Why job descriptions matter

Most entrepreneurs love their staff. They work hard, they are dedicated to helping you grow your business and they go out and get you coffee every morning. Plus, you hired them, so they must be good, right? This is a beautiful working relationship that will last forever…

 

C’mon boss, take off those rose coloured glasses! Your staff members might be like family today, but in a few months they’ll be turning up late, stealing your pens and sipping wine out of a paper cup in the middle of the afternoon.

 

Okay, we all hope it never gets to that, but business owners do need to appreciate that the performance of staff members can change and when this happens, you will need to carefully manage that employee’s performance – and potentially manage them out.

 

The key to effective – and lawful – performance management is having good documentation, and that all starts with a position description for every staff member in your team.

 

It’s doesn’t need to be War and Peace – a series of dot points outlining the staff member’s key tasks and responsibilities will do just fine. Make sure you get the staff member to sign off on the job description, and make sure that it’s filed away somewhere safe. And if the employee’s role changes, update their position description too.

 

Failing to have position descriptions makes performance management extremely difficult, and can leave you open to legal issues if a performance issue becomes a dispute.

 

Get it done… Today!

 

This article first appeared on September 3, 2010.

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