Sure fire way to avoid negatively impacting your bottom line!

I was developing a job description (JD) the other day for a General Manager role.

I have seen many JDs for roles of this type in my time and since it’s such an important role, it’s often done better than most. BUT I do have to tell you something I saw in one General Manager job description I came across.

It’s a potential pitfall which can occur in any JD if you’re not careful and it’s so important NOT TO DO THIS for maintaining staff morale and properly managing them so they develop the way you want them to.

I am talking here about a few of the accountabilities which I read that were just so ‘corporate speak’ that I had to read them 3-4 times to work out what the hell they were even talking about. To be clear, yes, I got the general concept but when I went to consider the accountability itself, it really didn’t mean anything.

Depending on how you look at it, the best, or worse, one was “Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed“. When I read it, I saw the words, but what I really read was ‘this is where we’ll cover our bases with a general comment in case we’ve forgotten something’.

It seems harmless, but you will never get the results you want from your people with this sort of stuff.

One of the key reasons why team members don’t enjoy performance reviews is because the human element is ‘lost in translation’. People struggle to relate to what they are being measured against. It’s so critical to engage properly with the individuals who will be managed and then evaluated against the job description.

Here comes the important bit: Against each accountability area, ask them this one question… ‘If you were doing this really well, what would it look like?’. Then (and only then) can you go ahead and start to flesh out the JD with accountabilities which are measurable and which the team member actually understands and relates to. A nebulous list of KPIs is a recipe for performance appraisals which the employees don’t like, and quite frankly ones which you won’t enjoy much either.

Far more important than who likes what, of course, is the fact that the right accountabilities and KPIs in your job description can feed directly into your corporate aims and be something which actually drives business efficiencies and profit.

“Try something different if you want a different outcome”

Until next time




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