Why Are Job Descriptions Important?

Providing a clear well-defined job description is the key to high performance.  Without a definite understanding of the responsibilities and expertise necessary to fulfill a position, one cannot be expected to meet the expectations of the employer.  In addition, knowing just how they fit into the “big picture” of the organization can also help a new employee to aim for high achievement and a fulfillment of their job description.

So here are six key issues to be sure you include when writing up a description.

1. Define the roles of the position:

This would involve creating a complete outline of the person’s duties in this particular position.

2. Describe the procedures to be followed in that role:

This would describe the “how to” of the duties outlined above generally in step by step fashion.

3. Set realistic goals:

This would provide the person with a set of objectives, which would give them goals to reach and also help them to measure how they are doing in the position.

4. Determine the management preferences:

This would let you know how the person would like to be guided or mentored in their new position.  For example, a weekly follow-up by email or in person or a mentor assigned to assist as the person “learns the ropes”.  When this is established you will not have to needlessly “bother” them but will be able to help them fulfill their role.

5. Performance evaluation:

This would likely be an interview to follow the 3-month (or another predetermined time period) probationary period to examine the performance of the person in this new position.  It could include a form to be filled out by the person reviewing their activities, if they have been reaching their goals, and how they view their progress as it relates to the job description.  The Manager would listen to this presentation and then add comments both supportive and constructively critical.  It could conclude with some new goal setting and another interview to follow in a specified time frame, possibly with the employee providing the manager with a revised job description if so desired.

  1. Rewards

This would be decided at the offering of the position and could be based on the goals reached or surpassed. In addition, extra initiatives could be undertaken or developed by the employee. If deemed appropriate, another process or measurable result could be determined by the manager and the employee to determine their progress.


In the end, all these elements are essential to achieving high performance from the employee.   Assumptions are very dangerous, as two people may not be on the same page and therefore not aiming for the same end.  In the end, employee satisfaction will unlikely occur without a clear job description, appropriate evaluation, and suitable rewards.  Be sure to establish clear, consistent processes for creating job descriptions and evaluating new hires.


Sandy Chernoff
Sandy Chernoff
SANDY'S 30 years of didactic and clinical teaching in study clubs and continuing dental education, coupled with her almost 40 years of Dental Hygiene practice bring a wealth of experience to her interactive soft skills workshops. With her education background she easily customizes interactive sessions to suit the specific needs of her clients. Her energetic and humorous presentation style has entertained and informed audiences from Victoria to New York City. Sandy’s client list includes law firms, teaching institutions, volunteer and professional organizations and conferences, businesses, and individuals. Her newest project is turning her live workshops into e-learning programs using an LMS platform. Her teaching and education background have helped her to produce meaningful and somewhat interactive courses for the learners wanting the convenience of e-learning options. As the author of 5 Secrets to Effective Communication, Sandy has demonstrated her ability to demystify the complexities of communication so that the reader can learn better strategies and approaches which will greatly improve their communication skills and ultimately reduce conflict, resentment, disappointment, complaining, and confusion. As a result, the reader will be able to increase productivity, efficiency and creativity, improve all the relationships in their lives and ultimately enjoy a happier, healthier existence! Sandy blogs regularly on her two websites on the various soft skills topics that are featured in her workshops and e-learning programs.

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