A job definition is a written statement of a specific job, based on the findings of a job analysis. Generally, it includes duties, purpose, responsibilities, scope, and working conditions of a job, along with the job’s title and the name or designation of the person to whom the employee reports. The written definition provides important boundaries for customer interaction.
- Employees must clearly understand the roles they are required to play and the boundaries with respect to meeting customers’ requirements. This is especially true for organizations that empower employees to do whatever it takes to ensure that customers’ needs are met. Job definitions or job descriptions serve this purpose.
- Ideally, every job should be defined and a job description should be developed for any position that appears on a company’s organizational chart. At a minimum, define positions that either directly or indirectly impact the quality of the service to the customer.
- Developing job definitions may be the responsibility of a team, the supervisor, or persons who currently perform the job.
- Headings to include in the job description should be standardized, normally as an organization-wide undertaking. Headings usually include the following:
- Job title: Name of the job or position being described
- Purpose or objective: Brief, two- to three-line summary of the job function
- Reporting: Designation to whom the position reports, plus roles that the position supervises
- Scope: The range of activities, territory, or business segments within which the position performs
- Responsibilities: Items or areas for which the person is accountable (should be measureable and attainable)
- Duties: Specific tasks required to perform the job effectively and execute the responsibilities identified
- Education: Education required to perform the job effectively
- Training: Training required to perform the job effectively
- Skills: Special skills required to perform the job effectively
- Experience: Past job experience to support the current job requirements
- Working conditions: Special conditions under which the employee may be required to work
- Periodically review job descriptions to ensure that they accurately reflect what employees are doing. Regular gap analyses will ensure that employees continually have the tools required to meet the needs of the target market. Gap analysis of the job definition should include a review for:
- Technology updates: Staying on top of the most recent technology updates is vital. The job definition can ensure that employees are equipped with the latest technology.
- Governing body requirements: Requirements set forth by regulating bodies require immediate communication and implementation. In these cases, quick response and mobilization of resources to ensure the requirement is flowed down through all pertinent levels is top priority.