Why Job Descriptions & Working from home don’t work!

When teams are working remotely, managers are often advised to particularly focus on results and outcomes in a world that is slightly less visible. So, it might be the case that people are dusting off that historical job description to see just what they are accountable for!

Well, if you work in non-sales you may be surprised to see that there aren't actually any job expectations at all? This may look familiar in job descriptions....

  • Engage with stakeholders
  • Lead the project
  • Take responsibility for X
  • Resolve queries effectively
  • Ensure customer satisfaction

None of these are actually tangible results - the are just activities and buzzwords! Very easy for anyone to say 'yep, I do this' and for a manager to potentially say 'I don't think you do!'. Which then leads to a debate around whether someone is 'effectively' performing or not.

Job descriptions are very big on roles and responsibilities but they need to be turned into measurable, indisputable results. It is rarely unclear as to whether a salesperson has hit their target or not. Non-sales roles need to be as clear to people for motivation, promotion, future pay-rise purposes and so on. Most buzzwords and corporate-speak are subjective: they actually lead to conflict in some cases because of a difference of opinion between people around what the words mean. Proactive? Embedded? Engaged? These can mean different things to different people. If proactive to you means that your team member isn't constantly having to be chased for updates then that in itself is a result to aim for - and belongs in the job description!

Working from home is already tough enough when it comes to being able to manage expectations and performance - why make life more difficult?

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