The easiest way I’ve found to create position descriptions

The easiest way I’ve found to create position descriptions. In Blackboard Fridays Episode 68, Jacob talks about Operational Structure. Need this implemented into your business? Talk to the international business advisor who can do exactly that – Contact Jacob, Learn More, or Subscribe for Updates.

Here’s every business owner’s dream: knowing you have the right person, with the right skills, doing the right job, at the right time. We call that ambition “R’n’R” – a play on words the demonstrates how “Roles ‘n’ Responsibilities” gives business owners “Rest ‘n’ Recuperation”.

I draw the analogy to playing doubles tennis – when you have the whole court to cover, it’s essential each player know which areas are their responsibility, and which are not. Otherwise you both strike for the ball – clobbering each other with your racquets – or you perform that trick known by every amateur tennis player, where you both hold off from taking the shot and stand there staring at each other like fools as the ball gently sails through.

Only in business, the ball that sails through is worth a lot more than 15 imaginary tennis points. That could be disappointing your most important client; forgetting to pay a tax bill on time; or (worst possible outcome) nobody realising it was their day to refill the coffee machine.

So clear position descriptions (also known as PDs, or JDs for Job Descriptions) are important – but they usually seem like a painful mountain to climb, having to sit down and draft all of the minutae for every single one of your team members.

Well what if I told you there was a better way? An easier way? And a way to draft those position descriptions that actually meant your team supported them immediately?

You’d definitely want to watch this week’s episode, am I right? Good – because you can watch it here.

Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?

“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.

Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.

At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.

You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.

That’s me.

Learn more here. Or Let’s chat.

Transcript

Hi Blackboarders! Back again this week talking about how to create position descriptions easily. Clear roles and responsibilities are critical for a growing business. I use the analogy of doubles tennis.

If you’ve ever played tennis with a partner, you know how critical it is that each of you is clear about which parts of the court you’re responsible for and which parts your partner is.

Failing to do so means both of you going for the same ball and smacking each other on the head with the tennis racket or the two of you leaving it for the other player and standing there looking at each other like complete Muppets and it’s exactly the same with business except instead of a tennis ball,it’s critical tasks and functions that makes your business run efficiently.

If you’ve got multiple team members all taking a shot at those tasks, that’s inefficient. If you’ve got critical tasks that nobody’s taking responsibility for then that means they just aren’t being done.

How do you make sure that your team are clear about what they are responsible for? Well, we know the answer. Its position descriptions, job descriptions but how do we actually create those in a way that isn’t a massive task on you, the business owner or whichever of your team is responsible for HR and people management.

Well, here’s the process that we’re going to walk through using the R’n’R framework which as we know roles and responsibilities creates rest and recuperation for business owners, R’n’R, so here’s the process I get businesses to go through to create role descriptions.

The first thing is to get each and every team member to spend two weeks recording all of their tasks on sheets of paper or Microsoft Word document, some kind of notepad. At the end of the two weeks, they will have a long list.

It doesn’t matter how much detail they go into. Some people are very very detail-oriented they’ll have pages. Some people are a little bit more contextual they’ll chunk things up. That’s okay too. The level of detail is whatever feels right for each individual team member.

Now at the end of the two weeks with that long list, you’ve then want each team member to add monthly, quarterly, or annual tasks that they didn’t actually do this fortnight so for example if they’re responsible for paying WorkCover on an annual basis then that’s a once a year task they’re probably not likely to do that within the fortnight but you need to make sure that they write that down on that sheet.

Now, we start to work the magic of the R’n’R framework. We want each person to now go through that list and color code cross black, green, blue and red and categorize each of their tasks within these headings. A quick run-through of these details but you can download this specific list in an editable document from the businessDEPOT website.

So, wealth as you might remember covers things like vision, valuation leadership, succession, as well as you as the business owner, your own personal portfolio and asset protection.

Growth in green is all about investments that you’re making for the future of the business so that’s things like capacity planning, management reporting, brand marketing, culture.

Within blue, we get the actual revenue generating tasks and for most businesses a majority of the tasks that get recorded are going to be within the blue and the red.

Now, that may mean you need to create or segment some of these into smaller categories that’s ok you want to make this list personalized to your business.

Lastly, in the red, the administrative tasks within a business, the things that cost you money but are absolutely necessary for running a business. So, things like technology, planning equipment, HR and supplier management.

Now, once you’ve got each of your team members with their lists of tasks, color-coded it because that makes it much easier to communicate, a much more fun to process and categorized, the next step is to go through and create an overall responsibility chart for the business.

A responsibility chart just looks like this with those added tasks sitting underneath each of these categories. For example, under sales you might have specifics around who prepares the proposals, who does the sales meeting, who makes sure that the contract has been signed by client. And so you can have some bullet points that sit underneath that sales category and against each of those tasks, you write the name of the one person who is responsible.

Having collated all of that information from your team, doing it this way will let you know if there are three or four people who all say that they’re responsible for making sure that that contract gets signed. This is where as a business, you gain efficiency by identifying the one person who needs to be responsible.

Now, as we’ve talked about before, responsibility doesn’t mean you have to do that task, it just means you I’ve been one person who is responsible for making sure that it happens. If you have two people responsible or just like in tennis, you’re both going to go for some balls and you’re both going to leave some thinking the other person needs to take that on.

Get clear, get an individual position title and name against each of those tasks. Now, once you’ve got that you’ve got a responsibility chart, a list of all of the tasks in a business and which role is responsible for them.

Creating position description is just flipping that information over. Instead of ‘task and who’, we go ‘who and then what tasks’ so we can use the information that we’ve built going through the responsibility chart and we can create position descriptions off the back of that so each individual will have a specific role that lists which of these categories they have responsibilities within and which specific tasks sit underneath them.

You now have, with the support of your team, instead of being wholly dependent on you, a series of interconnected position descriptions for every role in the business and what’s more because of the color, because of the fun, their position descriptions that are actually going to get referenced and used.

Next Steps

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