Why it's so important to have a good Position Description

This is something we HR professionals talk a lot about. To the point where sometimes you can see an employer’s eyes begin to glaze over when they hear the words “position description” because they are perceived as HR jargon and as a result are often placed in the “nice to have, when I get around to it” basket. But there is a very good reason that we talk about position descriptions a lot; they’re so important. They underpin every aspect of your business that relates to employees. Having good, clear, well written position descriptions for your employees can make your life as an employer easier and can make a very real difference to your company’s bottom line.

Simply put, a position description is a written statement explaining why a job exists, what the job holder actually does, how they do it and under what conditions the job is performed.

Employee position descriptions provide an opportunity to clearly communicate your company’s direction and they tell the employee where he or she fits into the big picture.
Whether you're a small business or a large, multi-site organisation, well-written position descriptions will help you align your people and get them working towards your business goals.

Position Descriptions set clear expectations for your staff about what is expected of them in their role. One of the biggest motivating factors for people is having clarity within their role. That is, they know what they’re supposed to do and how to do it. There’s no ambiguity, there’s no anxiety that they’re not doing what they are supposed to be doing, and there’s no getting into trouble for not doing something that wasn’t made clear in the first place.

Position descriptions provide a basis for measuring employee performance, providing an objective tool to enable the assessment and rating of an individual’s achievement against their goals. They also assist in making objective decisions around rewarding good performance.

Having a good position description is crucial when dealing with poor performance. It is very difficult to tell employees that they are not meeting your expectations if you have never clearly told them what your expectations are.

And last, but certainly not least, a good position description will form the basis for any recruitment decisions you make. Having clarity around the sort of person you are looking for and the skills and attributes that they need will help you avoid employing the wrong person for the job.

If you need some help drafting position descriptions for your staff, give one of the Grow HR team a call.