HR News and Views

HR News and Views

The importance of creating effective Position Descriptions

Monday, September 08, 2014

The importance of creating effective Position Descriptions

Position descriptions are written statements that describe the duties, responsibilities and qualifications of a job and are increasingly used to outline personal attributes required.

Often position descriptions are not considered a priority for managers, however in practice they can be a valuable communication tool bringing significant benefits to your business.

Clearly communicate the company direction
Well-written position descriptions help align employee direction with the company goals, vision and mission. They provide a structure to ensure all necessary work activities, duties and responsibilities are covered within the business.

Set clear expectations
Clarity enables staff to know what is expected of them and the standards required. Use position descriptions to motivate employees and obtain ownership and accountability.

Assist with potential legal factors
An essential reference tool in performance discussions, clear position descriptions assist in managing staff underperformance in a ‘fair and reasonable manner’ as required by Fair Work Australia. They provide neutral and objective details of the tasks, behaviours and expectations required.

Support recruitment and career development activities
Position Descriptions assist in selecting the person with the best skills, experience and behavioural attributes for the role.  Whilst skills can often be taught, behavioural attributes can be more difficult to develop and are fundamental to high performance.

Links with wider performance management system
Position descriptions should not be seen in isolation, they are a fundamental set of tools which feed into the wider performance management system and play a valuable role in performance appraisals, training/development and managing underperformance.

Need help in designing effective positions descriptions – give us a call!

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