There is one simple answer to why you would have Job Desciptions and Person Specifications – if you don’t tell someone what you require them to do and what ‘good’ looks like, how can you expect them to meet your expectations? In many SMEs, jobs grow and evolve as do the expectations of them. Many Managers do not stop, take stock and make sure that the person doing the job is clear what they should be doing and how. This can lead to a gap between performance and expectation which grows ever wider, often without the employee seeing it and the Manager getting increasingly frustrated. A simple job description which is reviewed routinely, will keep everyone on the same page and increase the likelihood of expectations being met. A person specification looks at the skills, knowledge and experience required to perform the role – this is important because ‘how’ the role is performed is often as, or more, important that ‘what’ is performed. Spending time defining this early on makes the recruitment, performance monitoring and management, and training far easier and effective. These documents are the foundations of the role, on top of which other things can be introduced to ensure standards are not just met but exceeded. Without them, it is highly likely that over time performance issues will occur.
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