A job description can feel like a compliance exercise; something that you have to have in order to recruit and onboard a new employee. After that, the job description often gets tossed to the side or thrown in a dusty drawer never to be touched again.
Remember when you were hired?
If you were to pull out your job description, you might say, “Oh, I don't do that anymore, and it's missing these 12 things that I actually do.”
Our job descriptions don't reflect reality. They don't reflect the changes that our church has gone through over the last couple of years.
Not only is this a bad HR policy (This is a great article on the legal risk of outdated job descriptions if you want to get into it), it can also create a major gap in your ability to lead your team and your organization well.
Before we dive into the “how”, it’s important to understand the “why”.
There are three major benefits to implementing a process for updating job descriptions.
1. It gives you the ability to see how roles work together
Responsibilities, team dynamics, and processes are ever-evolving. These things may shift from person to person, or disappear altogether. Maintaining updated job descriptions helps clear-up potential complexity that can happen when there is little to no oversight.
2. More Effective Performace Reviews
It’s difficult to give an accurate assessment of work provided if the work provided is unclear or unknown. When you incorporate a rhythm of updating job descriptions, not only are you up-to-date on what your staff is responsible for, but you’re also aware of what to give them credit for.
3. The clarity for High-Performance Leaders
There is almost nothing more frustrating for a high-capacity leader than job creep. All too often, you’ll end up with unequal responsibilities amongst your team simply because you have people capable of handling more (or coming up with more). This makes your leaders more likely to resign or more susceptible to burnout. As the leader of the team, you need to define what is a priority, what isn’t, and help level out some of the responsibilities among your staff.
Let’s talk about the “how”.
At the beginning of the year, take a fresh look at everybody that has a job, whether it's a full-time, paid position or a part-time volunteer role. Update it to reflect current reality. Use it to cast clarity.
A lot likely changed in the last 12 months, and the beginning of the year will be an ideal time to take a look and where you’re at, where you want to go, and how you plan on getting there.
We have an easy-to-use Job Description Review Exercise inside of LeaderPulse to help you navigate the process.
If you have a lengthy job description, consider creating a one-page job description to keep the process uncluttered. If you have a lengthy job description, it would be great to go through it, or here’s a one-page template to get quick clarity.
Imagine if everybody that had a job at the church could say, “Of all the things that I could do, this is what matters most. This is what we're focusing on this year.”
Your Job Description Review goals could include:
- Meet with at least two team members each week to do the Job Description Review exercise with them.
- Set up staff evaluations and send the team members the Job Description Review to complete before their evaluation.
- Set deadlines for updating job descriptions based on what’s revealed during the Job Description Review.
When we believe something is important, we make time to make sure it happens.
Conducting a Job Description Review with everyone on your team is crucial to your church’s effectiveness in ministry and the job satisfaction of everyone you lead.