An important key to success for any small business, in fact any business for that matter is to ensure that all employees clearly understand the overall goals and objectives of the business. However, to make this ‘big picture’ awareness effective, each employee must clearly understand their role in the business’s objectives and what results are to be achieved in each respective position.
Many businesses use job descriptions to meet this need. Job descriptions prevent confusion in a business by detailing the exact role that an employee plays in the business.
A good job description can also prevent much of the finger pointing that usually occurs with misunderstandings surrounding job responsibilities. Although job descriptions are a good tool, they lack the essential elements of measurement and accountability. While job descriptions may list job duties, they rarely specify the criteria for measuring an employee’s performance.
A job description is just what it is – a list describing an employee’s job or tasks – no accountability, no measurement.
Developing a formal Position Contract can address this issue.
The term ‘Position Contract’ is a new concept to most business owners. A position contract is a summary of the RESULTS to be achieved by each position in the business, the work the occupant of that position is ACCOUNTABLE for, a list of standards by which the results are to be EVALUATED, and a line for the signature of the person who agrees to fulfil those accountabilities.
Maybe you already have job descriptions in place and don’t see a need to change? A position contract will only enhance, not detract, from your current job descriptions and will add the important element of accountability. Perhaps you’ve never used job descriptions in your business? Then now is the ideal time to incorporate this essential tool into your business.
The position contract has five main sections:
Positions Identification (States the position and the position it is reporting to)
Results Statement (Tells the employee why that position exists in the business i.e. the result it should produce for the business)
Work Listing (Specifies exactly what work is required to produce the result)
Standards (Describe how the work should be performed, quantity and quality)
Please don’t you ever forget this one last point; your employees are not there to work, they are there to do one single thing – to produce a result. Always bear this in mind.
Position contracts are not cast in stone, they can be reviewed or changed as your business grows or as things evolve or the dynamics of your business changes.
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