Today the topic of discussion revolves around the challenges associated with job descriptions. In my experience, it is possible that some jobs have more of a “black and white” type of feel to the duties that are required. At other times, different occupations have a more loose definition of what is expected from their employees. I prefer to work at a firm that defines clearly what is expected from me.
First, with this approach, there is relatively zero confusion as to what is expected from the worker. This fact assists in the efficiency of the organization and can promote consistent work schedules. For example, I remember working at a storage company in Klamath Falls, OR. There, it was my responsibility to make trips to the dump, clean a set number of storage units, and report back to my immediate supervisor. I knew what I was getting myself into when I started working there.
Second, job descriptions should include what an employee can expect to encounter on a regular basis. Frequent surprises to the workforce can add additional stress to a worker’s mindset. It is only fair that only the work that the employee chooses to do should be compensated. If many extra tasks are forced upon a person, with time, the organization as a whole will feel the negative impacts associated with work overload.
Third, the more specific the job description, the better. For example, KSAO’s should be implemented if they are not already. Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other Characteristics are used to describe what employees need to possess to be successful at their new job (Lecture 1: Job Analysis). Controversy can arise when an employee doesn’t complete a “grey-area” task that co-worker or boss asks of them.
I’ll be back shortly for another discussion.
Kyle T. Sturgeon