Last week, I interviewed a woman who had previously been an Office Manager for a thriving company. She understood that her job was one with wide-ranging responsibilities that required many and various tasks. When I asked what prompted her to resign, she replied, “When I had to sell the owners’ roosters on Craigslist.”
Had this woman’s job had been at a farm working with animals, this request might not have seemed so egregious. Once again, she was working in an office setting with many other employees, so a request like this was quite a bit outside the normal boundaries of the job and she felt taken advantage of.
This is just one example of the importance of having an accurate job description for every position. The job description helps the employee know what is expected of them, and gives them guidelines on how to be successful in the role. When an employee is asked to do something far outside the boundaries of the job, they can feel uncomfortable, uneasy, and unsure on how to proceed. This is not the way to build a productive and satisfying relationship with your employee.
I know, I know… writing a job description is boring, boring, boring! My clients tell me this regularly, and it is usually coupled with an eye roll. However, having a document that accurately describes the job can benefit both the employer and the prospective employee by laying out the tasks, responsibilities and expectations beforehand, in black and white. So if you don’t own a farm and aren’t in the animal husbandry industry, don’t ask your employee to sell your roosters (unless you write it in the job description!)
Then when the rooster crows, everyone knows what to expect.