KBDi Affiliate Member, Nina Slade of Prymore Pty Ltd, is a business consultant with a primary focus on the cabinet making and kitchen industry. With almost two decades of experience in the industry, Nina works with business owners to minimise their business stresses and maximize their success. In this article, she shares some great tips for getting on track with job descriptions.

Job descriptions are such a vital part of an employee’s role in your business; a comprehensive role outline will clearly dictate what a staff member’s responsibilities are and your expectations on what they should be doing. But did you know that job descriptions can be a helpful tool in other areas that many business owners are faced with on a daily basis?

Here are some tips on how to use job descriptions to keep your business and employees on track:

  • Eliminating “It’s Not My Job”

I think that most business owners have at some stage been confronted with an employee that has used this statement. Very frustrating and many times leaves us dumbfounded that someone can actually say it. By having a job description, it clearly outlines what their job roles are but the tip is to actually have a line that clearly states “Will conduct all other general duties as directed by your Supervisor or Director of the company”. Bingo – if you ask them to put petrol in the van, then do it!

  • Creating Accountability

Many employees are scared of accountability.  Some roles however, do have some major accountabilities and there is no way around it as it is part of the job. What happens though when an employee wants the role, the pay and the title but not to be held accountable?

By having a job description and going through it with them explaining what they are accountable for within this job role, it is laid out on the table clearly and there is nowhere for them to hide. If they are unwilling to be accountable, then they (with the help of you) need to make a decision that they may not be suitable for the role & it may be time to move on.

  • Assisting with Managing Poor Performance

When an employee is performing poorly in their job, you need to manage it immediately. Their job description should be your first point of reference. Pull it out, go through it with the employee making reference to the points that they are not performing in. Basically, they are employed to do this job role and if they are not, then it is the starting point for grounds of termination. (Ensure you get professional advice before terminating an employee).

  • Delegating Duties When Someone is On Leave

So, your Head Designer is going on annual leave. Your immediate thought is “who is going to do their duties?” To ensure that a major task does not fall off the wagon when they are away, pull out the job description and allocate line by line the tasks to other people in the organisation. If this is done at least 2 weeks or more in advance, it allows training to occur and a decent handover prior to the leave period. No workplace should fall apart when someone takes leave but by being proactive and using the job description beforehand, can prevent loss of sales and stress for all.