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Forget HR Job Descriptions

posted by – July 30th, 2013


The more I think about job descriptions lately, the more I have come to love this reader’s solution to the perennial task of keeping them up-to-date, useful, and viable.

Working with employees, this reader calls job descriptions, employee profiles, and they are owned by the employee who does the job. This solves the problem of trying to have Human Resources staff, who have little idea of what the employee does, maintain current job descriptions that are actually useful.

Since job descriptions form the basis for the performance and personal development goals in the performance¬† development planning process, this simple solution is really ingenious. HR can’t, and shouldn’t, own everything related to employees, and it makes so much sense to me that an employee own his or her own job or role profile.

Plus, if a number of employees hold the same or similar jobs, they can work as a team to define their job profile. This is a terrific team building opportunity since employees are working on something near and dear to them that offers a personally rewarding return on their time investment.

Interested in trying this idea out? Here’s a brand new job description template that you can use to help employees define their job. Still doing job descriptions yourself? This job description template works for you, too.

Additionally, here is the job expectations plan and¬† process I recommend. It’s aligned with the recommendations of the post comments.