The value of the position description
Position descriptions are often neglected or misused within organizations. Sometimes the position description gets filled with too much information, creating an overwhelming document that becomes useless to the employee and manager. Or, it will be created years ago and then never updated, becoming outdated and not reflecting an employee’s current position. More importantly, it provides no help to the manager to set expectations through effective communication and coaching.
Far from being a piece of administrative paperwork that never sees the light of day, position descriptions help in so many ways:
For the employee:
- Sets clear expectations
- Shows what is needed to be deemed competent in the role
- Shows how the employee’s role fits within the organization
For the manager:
- Communicates expectations clearly
- Creates accountability
- Provides the basis for training and development activities
- Assists with performance management
- Assists with developing appropriate compensation structures
- Helps focus recruiting and selection efforts
As you can see, managers may benefit more than employees from good position descriptions. From an organizational standpoint, position descriptions are the starting point for your performance management and talent review processes.