Great article today on FastCompany.com by Roberta Matuson titled “Do Your Employees Have A Sense of Purpose.” While those that work in non-profits might think they are exempt from this due to the “cause”, I would suggest that you not jump to that conclusion quite so quickly.
One of the things that I see repeatedly is the reliance on developing the perfect job description for a new position. After all, the desire is to attract the employee with a position that is challenging and fulfilling. But maybe we have missed the boat. I like the idea of crafting a “results description” instead of a job description. By releasing an employee to accomplish a task in the method that is efficient and effective without handcuffing them to a particular method, we allow that individual to flourish, take risks, and have a sense of ownership. With results expectations clearly defined, the employee can be released to “go for it”.
In organizations with a heavy top-down approach, unexceptional service can become the rule. After a number of attempts to accomplish a task or attempts to initiate projects that are not within the scope of duties are crushed, ignored, or criticized, it is no wonder that apathy results.
So here’s the challenge – as you look at growth and new positions, or as you re-evaluate existing positions, consider how you are going to describe the position to a prospective employee. Are you going to describe the way you want the job done or the result you want to see? Do you have the structure and metrics in place to back it up?