Creating and Defining Clear Job Expectations - AgileHR
  • Creating and Defining Clear Job Expectations

A lack of clear job expectation is one of the biggest cause of employee turnover and poor performance in today’s workplace. How many times have you hired a new employee and then 3 months into employment you hear …”It’s not in my job description to (enter task)”.  Next thing you know, you are spending company growth dollars to source and recruit a new employee for the same job opening that you just hired and trained for.

Unfortunately, the old “Performs other duties as assigned” just doesn’t resonate with today’s workforce as it has in the past. As HR and hiring managers, the amount of time that you invest in writing and clearly defining your job expectations will more than pay for itself by lowering turnover and increasing employee satisfaction. So, how can we more clearly define those job expectations?

Here at Agile Product Solutions, we help our clients write performance expectations/profiles by following Lou Adler’s SMARTe guide for creating performance profiles. Mr. Adler recommends that every job has 6-8 performance objectives that define job success. These are not skills or qualifications based, but rather a definition of what an employee must accomplish, in this position, to be considered a successful employee. The template below is from Mr. Adler’s book and is a fantastic outline for any hiring manager that wants to source and recruit better employees. Top-level talent looks for jobs differently in today’s job market; that has already been proven. Well written performance profiles in your job descriptions will make that job more appealing to those candidates than a regular job advertisement posting would. Below are the seven factors that you should consider when defining and writing your job expectations.

Your job expectations should be:

Specific – Always include what needs to be accomplished on the job so that others understand it. Do not create vague or general duties. ”Performs other duties as assigned” – will not work.

Measurable – You should always attempt to create a performance objective that is measurable and not based on subjective data elements.

Action-oriented – Using action verbs will more accurately describe to the employee what is expected of them for each task.

Results – Always create performance objectives that are not only measurable, but also tied to results.

Time – Wherever possible, performance objectives should include a beginning and ending date or at least a statement of how long the task should take to complete.

Environment – Describes the company culture, expectations and resources as clearly as possible.

Writing clear, concise job expectations is not an easy task. It takes time, thought and the ability to precisely define the duties of a job that you don’t regularly perform.  While it might be difficult at first, the utilization of the above template will help you be consistent with the format of how all job expectations are written at your company. In turn, the success you have in sourcing, recruiting, hiring and retaining top level talent using these new profiles will soon begin to increase and dollars spent on turnover will decrease.

** Adler, Lou (2007). Hiring With Your Head. Using Performance-Based Hiring to Build Great Teams. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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