Why job descriptions are essential for the productive running of your business…

Every entrepreneur or Director of a small business should ensure that every single member of staff has a Job Description (“JD”). Here’s why;

Specifying the terms of employment
A JD clearly states the job title, who the actual employer is, the nature and legal responsibility
for the duties, employee pay, amount, frequency, who or which entity (e.g. Limited Company) is liable for any accrued employee benefits (sick pay, pension, maternity pay, health & safety, disability rights etc.). In other words both Parties know exactly who the counterparty is, should a legal query arise about employee or employer’s performance and obligations.

What the individual is required to do
A JD clarifies, in detail, what services the employee is contractually bound to do for the
employer, sets standards of work for which they are (and are not) responsible and should
describe all the relevant activities, descriptions, deadlines and expectations for that job.

Business compliance
An Employers’ insurance, or other legal obligations, may require specific named persons to
undertake certain activities (such as closing & locking up the premises each evening) and this
reallocates some of those potential risks / liabilities to specific individuals. The JD cannot override any employment law and is always subordinate to the law. UK law also states that jobs should be “reasonable and made with Good Faith”.
Management hierarchy & reporting
As well as the purpose, duties, responsibilities of the job, the JD should also describe where it fits in the structure of the company, the status of the job inside the company, including who the employee reports to and who reports to her / him, probably referencing company policies.

Conflict resolution
The JD provides a reference process for any dispute between an employer and employee, the basis of measuring job performance, timely performance reviews and describes the process for managingunderperformance and not fulfilling duties, for both employers and employees. Each individual job description should also reference additional company policies e.g. health & safety, disciplinary procedures, and training requirements.

Evolution & individual skills
One of the biggest reasons for every individual to have their own JD is that it can be easily modified, by mutual agreement, to include new activities as the business grows, develops and evolves as the employee acquires new skills and becomes more productive and capable. A JD should include all the training and new capabilities / skills the employee has acquired through their training and has developed over time in this role.

Business productivity & efficiency
A JD is particularly useful in eradicating staff duplication, overlap or Waste and clarifies which
individual are responsible for each job /activity / deliverable, or may share responsibility for
performance, on particular days or months. External parties such as accountants, regulators or
insurers will seek confirmation of this in any investigation of your company.

Quality control
Each JD should also identify who validates the quality of the job performed and set standards for what is an acceptable job and specify what actions are taken if it is not acceptable.

Collectively, all the JD’s in the company should allocate all the work, activities and
responsibilities the company undertakes or is obliged to undertake in its day to day operations. By understanding your business in this way, the productivity or output/input of the business and its employees can be measured and the business process improved over time with additional training and rationalisation.

If you would to understand more about how to measure and improve your business productivity and where the quick productivity gains are to be had, please contact me John Mather at EMC Associates. I offer a FREE initial consultation to understand more about your business and your Productivity pain points!

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