Roles and Responsibilities

Do your employees have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities? If you gave them a job description once upon a time, now it may be a historical document. If you haven’t given them anything, it’s likely that their understanding of the job is vague.

I recommend identifying some combination of roles, responsibilities, and key performance indicators (KPIs). When you articulate these factors (and your expectations), you’re much more likely to see a higher level of performance and productivity.

Here are some scenarios that clients have shared with me recently. They are great examples of what can happen when you’re not specific.

– Partners in a professional practice tasked a small group of senior people to up their leadership game by raising the morale of the staff. With the best of intentions, this group unexpectedly elicited a complaint session that unleashed an angry mob of employees.

– A long-term executive assistant has turned her job into what she wants, not what her executive needs. The situation has spun out of control, and she is regularly insubordinate to her executive.

– An employee was recently promoted and the training for his new role was abruptly ended when his supervisor left the company. No one resumed this task, and he is floundering.

As you can see, these gaffes can happen at any level, so don’t be fooled that problems around role clarification only happen with junior level people.

The exercise of enumerating your employees’ roles, responsibilities and KPIs – and keeping them updated over time – may take some effort at first, but will pay off in the long run. KPIs are a topic on their own, so stay tuned for a future column that delves further into how to create and manage them.

Have a great week!

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