Wednesday MisUnderstood Directors Club - Job or Job Description? - TurnAround Executive Coaching

This weekly club meeting talks about stress that CEOs and Executive Directors feel when employees don’t do the right things at the right times and life gets difficult.  Perfectly happy Directors and Presidents are not eligible for membership. This week, I’m thinking about why employees get the job description and don’t understand the job.

955_5660976Job Description
In a former job, I was also half of the HR department. I wrote job descriptions for every job. Since the job involved children, I carefully added that you have to be able to get down on the floor with kids and lift 70 pounds. The description is great – but has so many details in it that’s its impossible to know what the actual job is. While it’s critical to be able to carry a child in a fire, the day to day work for the appraisal is quite different.  In 10 years, staff had to pick up a 70-pound child one time! How do you protect yourself without hopelessly confusing your new employee?

What is the job description? The job description outlines the legal limits of your authority. If you are the first grade teacher, you cannot pay bills. It’s not in the job description. You don’t have the authority. The job description describes the limits of the job but employees want to know what is the core of the job?

Job Scorecard
There are several systems online to identify simply what the job is about. The job scorecard is what the job is really about. It’s simple enough for employees to understand. It protects them because you write down how you measure success. Many employees try to be successful if they know what you want.

Some employees won’t give their best until they understand what you want. I like a 10 point job scorecard that has 4 sections. I can tell the staff very simply what the job is about and they are not surprised later in feedback and appraisals.

Example: Accountant

  1. Knowledge, Skills, Abilities – 3 measures. For example, an accountant might have
    1. Knowledge – BA Accounting and 40 hours of additional training per year
    2. Skills – 3 years experience in inventory allocations (Knowledge plus practice)
    3. Abilities – interprets our corporate financials to board (baked in knowledge)
  2. Values – 3 measures of values (values have to already be established)
    1. Value is mission-driven staff – measure is staying late to meet the reporting deadline
    2. Value is delighted customers – measure is returning calls and emails in one day
    3. Value is flawless execution – measure is 0 corrections required in the audit.
  3. Visible Results – 2 measures for an Accountant
    1. Reports to the managers by 5th of the month
    2. Public audit without qualification
  4. Key Responsibilities –
    1. 18-month rolling cost budget
    2. Inventory entries with sales, costs of goods sold, raw materials, finished goods, and work in progress.

Isn’t that simple?

Keep the job descriptions because they keep jobs from changing without good reasons. They protect both manager and employee in moments of tension.

Use the job scorecard to do appraisals and help the employee understand how they add value to the company. Your employees will not understand you until they know what you want. Job scorecards help!

The CEO job is challenging. A business coach can help and contact me if your team needs support to go through this process.



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