Feedback that your staff can hear!

Think of the most recent egg or scavenger hunt that you participated in.  For us, this was over Easter and we hid baskets and eggs in the front yard and house for our boys. Yes, they are pre-teens and still play.  It makes my heart happy.  Yet, they were frustrated as they could not find two specific last eggs and their basket.  What happened next?  Mom, will you give us a clue?  

They were asking for feedback.  We are conditioned to look for feedback to keep going. Whether this was at work or at home.  The quality and kind of feedback that we give will garner certain types of results.  As a parent and a manager, I never want to give away the answer.  Why?  First, that is no fun.  Second, then we take away the opportunity for the other to learn.  

Asking questions!

Back to our egg hunt.  I gave clues such as: 

  • What do you do every day?  
  • What do you hate doing?
  • Where do you believe the Easter Bunny would hide it?
  • The baskets are in the kitchen, living room, and basement.

The Office of Personnel Management outlines three keys to feedback: Specificity, Timeliness, and Manner that the feedback is given.  In our professional world, Performance Management is a formal process of documenting an employee’s performance.  Yet, the relationships that staff have at work have a significant impact on employee performance and how we engage with each other. There are positive ways to give feedback that allows staff to build critical thinking skills while also learning an organization and people’s styles.  

Feedback must be woven into the tapestry of the organization to be effective.  Yet, there are key times to provide feedback and these are when it is expected and can have a positive impact on both the person and performance according to Harvard Business Review.  

Why is feedback important?

  • The employee-manager relationship is a top driver, 70%, to employee satisfaction according to Gallup.  
  • According to Forbes, much of the responsibility for a positive feedback look falls on managers. 
  • Creates a strong team
  • Is essential to develop performance according to Cambridge
  • Gives us a sense of belonging and purpose
  • Prevents us from being stuck and discouraged according to Huffington Post.

During our current pandemic with a large majority of staff working from home, the feedback that we give becomes even more important. Yet, there is not a one size fits all approach as each person has a different need for feedback. Based on the research from The Predictive Index. Each of us has a highest drive and based on that highest drive is a specific need. This is either the need for impact, feedback, time, or details. As a manager, do you know exactly how to provide feedback on what ways to engage and motivate your staff?

If you are curious to know more about what your specific needs are and those of your staff, take the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment now!

Through our questions, we give our staff the opportunity to process the questions that we ask and learn the specific processes.  Let’s revisit our egg hunt experience.  The questions that we asked provided a framework of what to do next and where to look. We set parameter’s around where the baskets were not so that they could focus on a very specific area.  The Standard Operating Procedures and Job Descriptions that you have inside of your organization do the same thing for your staff.  If you are still hanging onto where the baskets were hidden.  One basket was hanging behind the TV in a corner and the second basket was under the pool table with clothes piled on top. Tricky.  And, the problems that we solve at work are typically tricky too.  

We can simplify these processes by providing feedback to staff in ways in which they can hear it and ensure that we are setting our staff up for success by creating an environment that is transparent with communication so that they know what is needed to be successful.

An Easy Button

Looking for an easy button to increase your feedback effectiveness? Take the PI Behavioral Assessment AND have a colleague take it to receive your personalized communication guide!  

Thriving in Forced Change

Change – A verb to make or become different according to Oxford.  Well, we are in the midst of a forced change.  The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our businesses, lives,

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Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

families, economy, and health, for some, in significant ways. Yet, we all have a choice in how we reactive this change.  How we will change to thrive through the storm and into the next period of calm waters.

So, what does it take for businesses to weather this storm?  We must inspire the staff that is still working while triaging the current situation.  There are four key areas to aligning your people strategy to your business strategy, yes the current strategy to ensure your business agility and resiliency.  This is the key that an HBR study found of the companies that flourished after an economic downturn.

There are four key parts to this:

  • Design
  • Inspire
  • Diagnose
  • Hire

Change is painful and this pandemic has forced us to look at aspects of our business and people. We look forward to partnering with you to align your people strategy to your business strategy to tHRive into the next chapter of your business.

If you are looking for more, you can download Surviving an Economic Downturn with Talent Optimization.  

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Looking or a partner to assist you in nimbly adapting to changing circumstances while protecting your productive assets to emerge stronger?  Give us a call at 608-312-4324 or book time here.

I-9 Updates

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The I-9 form is a requirement for all employers and new employees to complete at the time of hire.  There are specific rules as to how to complete the I-9 and when. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made an announcement in the Federal Register on January 31, 2020, that the new version of the I-9 Form (rev.10/21/2019) is available for use immediately.  Yet, employers must transition to this new form by May 1, 2020.

Tips on Completing the I-9 Form

Before we get into what specifically changed.  There are some key tips for completing an I-9 form.

  • Section 1 of the I-9 form can only be completed by the employee.
    • This section MUST be completed by the end of the first workday.
    • Yet, an employee may complete the I-9 form as soon as they have accepted an offer of employment.
    • The burden of proof is on the employer here, therefore, we recommend that employers have all new hires sign an offer letter.
    • We encourage employers to double-check section 1 to ensure that one status is checked and one preparer/translator box is checked.
    • Note, minors must use a preparer/translator to complete this form.
    • The Spanish version of the I-9 form is only allowed to be used in Puerto Rico.  This version of the form cannot be used in any other place.
  • Section 2 of the I-9 form is completed by the employer by the end of the 3rd calendar day.
    • The individual that represents the employer must physically examine all I-9 documents.
    • Employers cannot dictate what documents the employee must provide.
    • We recommend using the on-line version of the I-9 as it will auto-fill boxes from section 1 to section 2 and provide the correct abbreviations, issuing authorities.

What are the changes of note in the new Form I-9? 

There are several changes to the instructions of the form and clarification of concerns from past versions.

  • In the fillable I-9 version of the form, USCIS added two countries to the country of issuance field in Section 1: Eswatini and North Macedonia. These two countries were also added in Section 2 as passport issuing authorities.
  • In the instructions to the new Form I-9:
    • Clarification of who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer. This confirms that any person may be designated to complete and sign the form on the employer’s behalf. The employer is still liable for errors of their designee in Form I-9 completion.
    • Update of USCIS website addresses.
    • Clarification of acceptable documents.
    • Update about how to request the paper Form I-9.
    • Update of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) privacy notice.
  • The new Form I-9 instructions also indicate that employers do not have to insert “N/A” into unused lists of recorded documents in Section 2 of the Form I-9.
    • Yes!!! We found this to be a major frustration on behalf of employers.  We are grateful to see this change.
  • In addition, as to List C documents in Section 2, the new Form I-9 instructions note that the List C number 7 bucket for employment authorization documents issued by DHS does NOT include the I-766 employment authorization card from the List A employment authorization documents.
  • New I-9 instructions indicate that a List B identity card issued by a federal, state, or local government agency or entity does NOT include a driver’s license or identity card issued by a State or outlying possession of the United States as described in section B1 of the List of Acceptable Documents.

If you have questions on your I-9 forms or how to conduct an I-9 audit, feel free to join us for an upcoming webinar or replay of this I-9 webinar by registering here. 

Permission… What does permission have to do with employee engagement?

Permission.  This little word leads to the choices that we make each and every day.  We are taught in our current society that we must be given permission to do things.  The permission to go to the bathroom in school.  The permission to leave the house and play outside.  The permission to use the car.  Sometimes the permission is granted as a request, sometimes we make the request for permission.  What we become and the dreams that we dream so often come from the permission that others give us to create those dreams. 

I was coaching an employee this week.  I asked her what she would like to be doing in 3 years and 5 years.  She stated that she would like to be doing something in this same field, yet, with a different population.  I asked her why she is not doing it already, as it aligns with the organizations’ mission.  She stated that she did not know or think that she could.  I asked her why.  I never thought of it, was the response.  This. Is. Gold.  We just gave her permission AND she gave herself permission.

Outcome? An engaged employee.

Is the performance in your organization capped based on what you believe is possible?  We as HR, Managers, Business Owners and leaders have an obligation to innovate, to up-level and serve our communities.  What is stopping you from dreaming that big dream?  Yes, it still has to be aligned with the organization.  Yes, it still must be profitable.  Yes, it still must be of high quality.  Yet, what is your staff capable of that is not being shown and shared?

Give yourself permission to dream! Give yourself permission to create and propose your solutions.  Yet, ensure that you own it to execute it all the way through. Every dream is possible if you are committed to the outcomes.  The right people and resources will show up along the way. Take a moment to give yourself permission to think beyond the day to day tasks by using this set of questions:

  • What is it that your HeaRt desires in your work role?  
  • What would it look like?  
  • Is this aligned with the mission and vision of the organization? 
  • Can this be profitable? 
  • Is this a large enough dream that you are willing to own it 100% and put it into action?  

Who needs to give you permission?  You need to give yourself permission!  What is one thing you will give yourself permission for today?

This could be as simple as reaching out and asking for another perspective on your structure and culture to innovate your business?  Are you ready?  Great! Give yourself permission. Schedule a call with us to discover what this can do for your organization.

5 Considerations when Creating and Updating Your Employee Handbook

The employee handbook is a great reference tool for both employees and managers.  But did you know that you are not legally required to have a handbook?  Nope. Not required at all.

Yet, is an employee handbook recommended?  Absolutely!

The handbook is a key reference for your employees and your managers.  This provides consistent policies to follow and takes the guesswork out of what needs to be done.  Because consistency is a beautiful thing! 

Items to Consider when Creating and Updating your Employee Handbook

Consideration #1

Your handbook:  Ensure that it is in your company voice and aligned with the greater WHY and culture of your organization. Why? Because what is most important in the work that you do and the way in which your employees contribute are integral to that work.  Specifics to include: 

  • Company History – Let your staff know WHY you do what you do.  Elicit the key emotions that will motivate THEM to give their best every day that is steeped in a rich, productive and impactful history.  
  • Mission, Vision, and Values –These encompass the WHY you are doing what you are doing and the key things you look to do each and every day. 
CONSIDERATION #2

Rules of the game:  The handbook lays out the minimum rules.  These are the local, state and federal laws written in a way that aligns with your company culture and why. And these give clear direction to your employees.  Some items to include:

  • Wage and Hour Laws 
  • Family and Medical Leave (50+ Federal)
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Policies
  • American with Disabilities Act
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Local laws (such as sick leave)
  • At-Will employment
CONSIDERATION #3

Organizational Policies:  Think of perks and benefits.  Outline paid time off, employee behavior, promotion, etc.  These are any policies that are not required by law. Yet, these are a part of your organizational culture. Some additional examples include: 

  • Extended Care Leave Policy 
  • Casual Friday
  • Remote Work Policy
  • Reinstatement Policy
CONSIDERATION #4

Get a signature: Having a handbook does not mean much without an employee signature.  Yes, you need an employee acknowledgment with a date that acknowledges that the employee has received the handbook and that they will follow what the handbook has outlined.  This then needs to go into the employee file or an electronic version of the employee file.  Anytime a handbook policy is changed, the employee should acknowledge that change with a new signature.

CONSIDERATION #5

Consistency:  Your handbook is a key foundational piece for your organization and is one part of a greater whole.  Review your handbook at least annually to ensure that you are not making any promises in your handbook that are not being followed. AND, ensure that the handbook does not become too stringent. A handbook that is too stringent does not allow management to support the current staff and policies. Lastly, determine which specific areas your management team and staff need additional training on. Such areas may include:     

  • Culture and Behaviors 
    • Confidentiality
    • Harassment and Discrimination
    • Dress Code
  • Fair Labor Standards Act
    • Minor Work Hours
    • Interns
    • Working off the clock (example: responding to text messages)
    • Hours
  • American with Disabilities Act
    • Reasonable Accommodation
    • Interactive Process

Want more, we have a full checklist of policies included in our HR Foundations program course AND a complimentary training in our Foundation Library.   

5 Steps to Address Vodka in an Employee’s Water Bottle

A water bottle on an employee’s desk or a cup of coffee seems very, very reasonable.  Yet, what happens when there is more than coffee or water in those containers? 

The answer depends on your policies, state law, and what you already know about this employee.  Here are 5 steps to review when facing a situation of potential substance abuse on the job.   

5 Steps to Review

Step 1

Address the impact the substance abuse has on the employee’s behavior through your handbook policy, cultural norms and job descriptions. 

Step 2

Ensure you have a clearly written job description with physical abilities that name what the expected behavior is.   

Step 3

Review your handbook policy to determine what your Drug and Alcohol policy states and ensure you are adhering to it.  The following are key items typically included in a drug and alcohol policy: 

  • Prohibit the use and possession of illegal drugs and/or alcohol in the workplace.
  • Prohibit employees from working while under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol.
  • Outline the substance abuse/drug testing programs.
  • Address an employer’s right to immediately test an employee with reasonable suspicion that they may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • State the consequences to employees who do not follow these policies.

Step 4

Investigate the situation.  If your policy provides the support to conduct reasonable suspicion testing and you have staff onsite trained to complete this, complete that assessment. 

Step 5

Review what you already know about this employee.  Do they have a noted disability or a perceived disability under the American with Disabilities Act?  Have accommodations been made in compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act?  This will determine if you must enter into an interactive process to provide reasonable accommodation.  The key here is that you have already addressed the IMPACT the substance abuse has on the organization, specifically relating to safety concerns. 

Final Thoughts

In any case, a good offense is the best defense for any employment law situation.  Therefore, having strong policies and ensuring your managers are trained to identify key HR red flags will lead to increased employee productivity and engaged staff.

If you have more questions than answers after reading this blog, please check out our complimentary trainings HERE.  We discuss both organizational culture and compliance.  If you like what you find, we would love to continue the conversation.   

How to Write a Comprehensive Offer Letter

Do you love to receive personalized mail?  I know I do!  Especially handwritten ones that are written specifically for me.  Not only are they personal, but they also imply someone spent some time thinking about me and what I do for them.   

Offer letters are much like this. 

They are a personalized note to a new employee welcoming them to your company and notifying them of some of the agreements you have made.  The offer letter itself and the way it is delivered can also set a lasting impression on the new employee.   

So, what needs to be included in the offer letter?  Below are some key elements to make sure you include in the body of the letter. 

WELCOME

Start with a warm welcome to your company.  Personalize WHY you are excited for the new employee to be starting and have it tie to the organizational mission. 

THE BASICS

This will include a start date, as well as the position the employee is being hired for.  You’ll want to refer to the job description and make sure you include a copy of this with the offer letter.  At this point, the employee should already have a good understanding of the job expectations because this would have been discussed during the interview. 

PAYMENT

The new employee will need to be paid.  Outline if this is a full or part-time position, what the pay will be (hourly or salaried) and define the pay period. 

BENEFITS

Will benefits be offered? Summarize benefits, vacation, paid time off, sick time, etc.  Refer to the employee handbook for any updates that happen after the initial hire.

CONDITIONS OF OFFER

Outline any conditions of the offer of employment, including background checks, drug screening, reference checks, etc.  

AT WILL

Depending on the rules of your state, clarify that the employment is considered “At Will.” 

You’ll wrap this all up with your signature on the letter, as well as a spot for the new employee to sign the offer letter and have them return it by a certain date.  Why not personalize it some more by adding a handwritten note on the bottom? 

In Conclusion

The elements outlined above not only create a one to one relationship with your new employee, but they also protect you in many employment law situations.  If you are looking for more insight on offer letters, you can view our short complimentary training on this topic HERE.  

Congratulations on hiring staff to scale your business and create an environment for every employee to tHRive! 

How to Write a Job Description for Your First Employee

You’re hiring your first employee.  That’s a big deal!  But now you have to define what the employee will actually be DOING. What are your expectations of the employee? And how do you combine these with being compliant?

The job description is a summary of the tasks, duties, functions, and responsibilities of a position that is a guide for job performance. It is also used in hiring, compensating and holding staff accountable. From a compliance perspective, the job description is key in protecting your organization from Ameican with Disability Act, Title VII discrimination and OSHA claims.

That is all great, right?   Yet, how do you write one? 

Below are the key areas you will need to keep in mind from both a legal and compliance perspective. It is important to note that each section supports each other. AND they all support the way in which you are paying your employees (either exempt from overtime in the form of a salary or non-exempt and on an hourly basis.)  

Job Title

What are you calling this position? 

Classification

This is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempt or non-exempt status. This status is determined and supported by the essential functions, required education, experience, language, math and reasoning abilities which will be listed out in the job description.

Essential Duties

These are the required duties and responsibilities that an individual performs. This section correlates with every other section on the job description as it provides the expectations for what the employee will be held accountable for. 

When writing this section, ensure that each duty is written in the form of a SMARTY goal.  This goal is Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reasonable, Time Based and describes Why this duty is important as aligned with the mission and vision of the organization.  

Legal Implications:  This section protects the organization from Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), FLSA, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) or other discrimination cases by specifically naming the expectations of the position.  

Supervisory Responsibilities

Only include this section if it is relevant to the position.  This could be responsible for all individuals in a specific department OR in a functional area.   

Legal Implications:  This correlates with the classifications as the executive exemption is contingent on the number of employees supervised. 

Certifications/Licenses

List out any specific certifications or licenses that are required or preferred for the position that is essential to perform the position. If listed as required, the individual should already hold this certification or license.  If you are doing the training and are willing to train or waive a specific certification, then it should be listed as preferred.  Examples of this include: driver’s license, industry certification, teaching license, etc.  

Legal Implications: This protects the organization from EEO discrimination cases. Listing items here as required vs. preferred differentiates if a reasonable accommodation can be made for an individual not having this certification. This correlates with the essential functions. 

Education, Math, Language & Reasoning Abilities  

These sections set the minimum expectations needed in the position for the employee to satisfactorily perform the essential functions of the role.  We recommend that you use a specific structure when creating these to ensure consistency across all levels of your organization. 

Education:  9 levels of education ranging from “Less than high school diploma” to “Doctorate Degree” 

Language Ability: “Read and speak in two to three words sentences” to “Negotiate significant organizational contracts and present organizational data to board and community stakeholders in easy to understand language.” 

Legal Implications: Consistency across positions is key to ensure you can support why individuals are paid a specific amount.  This section backs up the salary ranges you place each position into and supports the essential functions listed above.  

Physical Demands

This section lays out all the physical requirements to do the job, such as standing, lifting, walking stopping, crawling, lifting, hearing, speaking, dexterity of fingers (typing), close or distance vision, peripheral vision, etc. 

For each physical demand category, it is recommended that you have 3 levels that define the amount of time required (less the 1/3, 1/3 – 2/3 or 2/3 + of the time).  The reason for the three levels is to ensure consistency between all your positions as well as to both simplify and provide clarity in what is needed. 

Legal Implications: This section is instrumental in determining a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, return to work after FMLA, anti-discrimination based on if an employee cannot complete a specific essential function, etc.   

Work Environment 

Clarity is key to ensuring that employees are aware of the types of environment they may be exposed to.  It is recommended that this section is set up similarly to that of physical demands.  This section must lay out any specific working conditions such as an office environment, exposure to fumes, confined spaces, loud noises, heights, etc.  

Legal Implications: The environment that an employee works in may impact wages and is integral in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cases.   

Acknowledgment  

Every job description should have an acknowledgment that the employee understands the essential function of the position and can do all functions with or without reasonable accommodation and agrees that this job description is NOT a contract of employment and does not negate their “at will” agreement.  

Signature 

Upon hire into the position and on an annual basis (preferably at performance review time) ensure that each employee and their supervisor review the job descriptions for accuracy.  Both should sign and date the document.  Any changes should be noted and dated.  

Legal Implications: According to the Department of Labor, if it is not in writing, it did not happen.  Therefore, ensuring each employee AND supervisor sign their job descriptions on an annual basis will show that they have both reviewed it and the description is an accurate reflection of the employee’s position.   This supports both the employer is staying free of discrimination claims and creates an opportunity for conversation to promote a positive work environment.  

In Closing  

The key to job descriptions is to ensure that it is an accurate reflection of the job and that all of the requirements listed must be performed with or without reasonable accommodations.  The job description is one piece of a larger HR Foundation to set your organization up for success AND provide each employee with an opportunity and a choice to be fulfilled in the work that they do. 

This, of course, starts with your mission, vision, and values for the organization and rolls into every area.  The WHY of your organization must be aligned with your employee’s individual why’s.  Alignment!  If you are curious for more, check out our complimentary training on creating a job description HERE.  

 

Creating Employee Engagement through SMARTY Goals and Job Descriptions

Engagement. What is this? Webster defines it as a promise to meet or be present at a particular place and time. 

So, how many of your employees are engaged at work.  Truly engaged?  

According to Gallups 2018 poll, only 34% of the US workforce is engaged.  And of those engaged, their profitability is 21% higher than the rest of the workforce.  

What Creates an Engaged Employee? 

That is a loaded question that we will unpack with upcoming blog posts.  Yet, let’s start with the HR Foundation; specifically, as it relates to job descriptions.  This starts with clear expectations and accountability.   

How do staff know what it is that they are supposed to be doing up front?  They know this from the job description AND what we call Ideal Employee Characteristics. 

The first serves as a resource for staff and managers to ensure everyone knows what is required of that specific position.  The second serves as a marketing tool that defines the why behind the job and the exact type of person to be in that position.  Essentially, think of it as a marketing tool where you are reading it going “Wow, that is me and this solves all of my problems as an employee in my current situation.”  More on this in an upcoming post. 

Using SMARTY Goals in Job Descriptions

The job description has specific essential duties that are typically very vague and cannot be tied to specific goals.  Your goal is to ensure that they are accurate and meaningful.  When job descriptions are vague or inaccurate, issues develop. These issues can be found in the recruiting process, performance evaluation and when needing to discipline and/or terminate an employee. 

We chose to fix this issue by creating all of our job descriptions using SMARTY goals.   

  • Strategic 
  • Measurable 
  • Actionable 
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound
  • WhY

Yes, this does take a bit more time to write and may need to be updated as processes and procedures change in your organization.  Yet, with SMARTY goals you are tying the job descriptions to the culture of your organization through the WHY and you are being very specific on what the expectations are so that your staff can hold each other accountable driving a culture of excellence.   

Let’s Look at a Couple Examples 

Recycling and Reclamation Workers 

  • Essential function:  Sort materials, such as metals, glass, wood, paper or plastics, into appropriate containers for recycling. 
  • SMARTY essential function:  Sort 10 tubs of materials such as metals, glass, wood, paper or plastics into appropriate containers with a 99% accuracy rate per hour to preserve our environment while delighting our clients.  

Construction Carpenters 

  • Essential function:  Install structures or fixtures, such as windows, frames, floorings, trim, or hardware, using carpenters’ hand or power tools. 
  • SMARTY essential function:  Install structures or fixtures, such as windows, frames, floorings, trim, or hardware to 99% accuracy within the specified timeframe outlined in each bid sheet using carpenters’ hand or power tools to delight clients in fulfilling the purpose and inspiration of the building aesthetically and functionally.  

Accounting Clerk 

  • Essential function:  Operate computers programmed with accounting software to record, store, and analyze information.
  • SMARTY essential function:  Complete accounting tasks using QuickBooks software with 99% accuracy in data entry performing X amount of entries per hour to provide accurate and up to date information to internal stakeholders ensuring cost-effective operations that fulfill our mission of xyz…. 

Conclusion

The key to any goal is first writing it and second to ensure that you are reviewing it on a specified timeframe and tracking your results.  For us, we know that if our goals AND our actions are not in our calendar, they do not happen.

So, do you love what you are learning?  Great!  Put some time in your calendar right now to review ONE current job description and transform it into a SMARTY job description.   Looking for support?  Check out our HR foundation programs.  

Are you being Honest when Writing Job Descriptions?

Job descriptions serve several important functions.  They set clear expectations for your staff, managers and the business owner.  AND they protect both you and the employee from the various employment laws.   

Yet, I read and review so many job descriptions that are like hopes and dreams.  A unicorn that does not exist.  This sets your organization, you, and your staff, up for failure.   

Let’s Ask a Few Questions

  • Have you ever been in a role where you felt like you could never 100% succeed? 
  • Have you ever been a manager that is unable to meet your expectations and those of your staff because the expectations were not aligned?  
  • Have you found that you can meet 80% of the job but not 100% with the candidates that you are interviewing?   

In all these cases there are missed opportunities in attracting and retaining the best employees for the role.  Not only that, you may be in a situation where you are unintentionally discriminating against a group of individuals. 

Below are 5 questions you can ask to determine if your job descriptions are an accurate reflection of the work being done by your staff. 

Do your essential functions match what is ACTUALLY done by the staff in that role? 

Essential function:  Sort materials, such as metals, glass, wood, paper or plastics, into appropriate containers for recycling. 

Actual Job:  Sorting material and driving a forklift to move bins to sort. Are your essential functions written in SMARTY goals?  

Are your essential functions written in SMARTY goals?  

  • Essential function states:  Sort materials, such as metals, glass, wood, paper or plastics, into appropriate containers for recycling. 
  • SMARTY Essential Function:  Sort 10 tubs of materials such as metals, glass, wood, paper or plastics into appropriate containers with a 99% accuracy rate per hour to preserve our environment while delighting our clients. 

Do you require a specific level of education that is not necessary for the position? 

  • Does an Accounting Clerk really need a bachelor’s degree in business management or accounting?  Probably not!  This could be revised as:  Associates degree in accounting or business management preferred.  

Do you require a drivers’ license for all positions, yet only 10% of your staff are required to drive in that specific role? 

  • Use the terms preferred vs. required to ensure that you are attracting a wide range of applicants and not discriminating against individuals.  

Are your physical requirements accurate based on what the individual is actually doing? 

Conclusion

Ensuring you have accurate job descriptions is the foundation for a strong culture built on clear expectations and accountability.  Curious to how you build out your entire HR infrastructure in an easy to follow format that weaves in your culture to support staff and company success?  Check out our HR Foundation Library