In our last blog, we talked about the importance of establishing individual accountability in the workplace. Now, let’s discuss the first step for achieving a constructive approach to accountability—one that produces positive, valuable results. It’s a well-defined job description. Employers who set goals and expectations from the very beginning with a clear, thorough, and accurate job description are more likely to find employees who understand expectations, are confident they can achieve those expectations, and perform at high levels.
Reasons for Taking the Time to Craft a Clear, Thorough & Accurate Job Description
In fact, there are several reasons well-defined job descriptions are important, for the immediate purpose of filling an open position with a well-qualified candidate and for your long-term success as an employer. For one, the job description helps potential candidates understand their responsibilities and how their work contributes to the overall mission of the office. It also serves as a useful tool for training purposes because a thorough job description lists the specific tasks that make up the job. You are more likely to hire the right person for the job if both of you clearly understand the job. If there is an issue down the road, both employer and employee can compare the employee’s job performance to the expectations outlined in the job description. This helps you recognize a job well done or a need for retraining or discipline.
At a minimum, a well-defined job description should include:
- Job Title – Provide a precise and accurate job title
- Summary of the Position – Provide a concise definition of the position’s major responsibilities
- Qualifications – Describe the experience, training, and education necessary to perform the job
- Duties or Tasks – List all activities the employee will be expected to perform
- Work Relationships – Define who the employee’s supervisor is and how his or her position relates to other positions
- Compensation and Benefits – Include all compensation offered, including salary or hourly wage range, insurance, vacation, sick leave, and so on
- Work Schedule – Define work hours as much as possible, as well as your overtime policy if one applies
Implementing Accountability Measures for New Employees
According to the U.S. Office of Personal Management, employers can practice accountability for positive results by following good performance management principles from the start. Specific accountability measures include:
- Involve your employees in setting clear, challenging yet attainable goals and objectives and give them the authority to accomplish those goals
- Provide the training and resources employees need to do their work
- Along the same lines, coach your employees when they request help and support employees in all aspects of the job, but don’t micromanage
- Monitor progress towards goals and provide feedback that includes credible, useful performance measures
- Recognize employees for good performance, both formally and informally
You can use 360matrix software to put all these accountability measures into action. Assign tasks, upload training and resource materials, monitor the progress of any current project, set up future projects, and share information among everyone in your office—all in one place. Prioritizing accountability in the office may require a culture change, but we think you’ll find the positive results well worth the effort.