Jimmy Hovey Internet Marketing Blog

Could You Be Increasing Workplace Productivity With Job Descriptions?

Posted by Jimmy Hovey on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 @ 08:00 AM

'But It's Not In My Job Description"

Have you ever heard someone say......

“well I don’t want to give them a job description because when I ask them to do something that is not in their job description they will say ‘but it’s not in my job description'"

Have you heard that? 

I have many times.....from my own MOM!! Not that she was saying that she was not going to do something....she was referring to the effectiveness of job descriptions with employees.  

"Oh Mom trust me, you just have to word it correctly."  

Do You Believe In The Employee Management System?

This is a debate that I have had with my Mom just in the past few months.  I developed a employee management system for her business, but later found out that she really didn't believe in it. 

Imagine that; 1st generation vs 2nd generation....ahh..the joys of family business! 

The purpose of the system was increasing workplace productivity, but how do you measure that?

OK, But Do You Believe Me NOW?

When the business opened up a new location 600 miles from the main office, the system for employee productivity was NOT put into place.  They didn't think they needed the system, too much time to implement, "we need to get the work done...." blah, blah, blah.....  


That all changed one day.....the shift in thinking was almost over night when 4 out of 6 jobs were coming to completion.  

The average gross margin on those projects...6%.  


Gross margins of the projects that have employees with job descriptions....44% on average (In this particular industry, average gross margin is around 25%!).

A difference of 39%.......

It finally took money to prove that this really works.  Too bad it cost several hundred thousand to learn the importance....(this was on several million dollars worth of work!!) 

But on the bright side, guess who has the entire system in place now?

It's Not Just The Job Description

Now the job description didn't do ALL of that, but it does have a huge impact.  

What most of you don’t realize as an owner is the fact that your employee craves to know what is expected of them.  I am not kidding, they really do.  

The job description is one of the tools you should be using to get that information across to the employee. 

You Always Assume The Employee Knows How To Do It...

Too often as owners, we expect an employee to do something with little to no instruction.  We explain what we want done, they go off to do it.  We later discover it's all screwed up and they didn’t do it the way we wanted.  

"Should have done it myself....then it would be done right"...have you ever had THAT thought run through your mind? Well I don't know about you, but I sure have.  

Although doing it yourself won't really help the situation, in reality we blame the employee. 

But Really, Who's Fault Is It?  

If you haven’t given the employee a description of what you want done, how should they know what they are to do? 

We really can’t expect the employee to know what we want them to do if we haven’t shown them in writing, on paper, what you expect. 

The Job Description Is Part Of An Overall Employee Management System

The job description becomes one of the most important elements in creating an operations system in a business.  It is simply not just a piece of paper. 

Job descriptions should be well thought out with purpose and meaning and not implemented alone, but as part of a system.   

You have to develop a system, one that includes all of the elements of accountability.  The reason you develop the system is that managing productivity requires more than just a job description.  

By developing the system, you have the opportunity to narrow in on exactly what you want your employee to be doing and show them how you will be monitoring their performance in relation to the job description

The job description is meant to be read and it won’t likely be referenced unless there is question as to what they are supposed to be doing when working for you. 

Who Is Responsible For What? 

You may not think your employees are interested in having job descriptions, but you may find they actually do.  Besides, does it matter if they want it or not?

Nope, you are the owner, you just have to decide you are going to do it and stick with it.   

I have seen cases where the employees not only wanted to know their own responsibilities but also his supervisor and those that worked around him. 

They want to know what is expected of them and know what everyone else was supposed to do as well.  

Interested In Learning More About How I Did It?

I laid out all the steps we went through to develop this system in an eBOOK I call The POWER4job Pack Employee Management System.  

This walks you through step by step how to develop your own employee management system increasing workplace productivity.  This is what you need to remove emotional decision making regarding employees to fact based, data driven production results.  

Time to get rid of the Bad Apples!  

You can download the eBook by clicking on the cover below.  

Click me

Your turn, What do you think?  Are job descriptions really that important?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below...I would love to know. 

Topics: employee management system, increasing workplace productivity

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