Most of the churches that I work with do not have written job descriptions. Many of the businesses that I have done leadership or management training for do not have written job descriptions. I think this is a big mistake! Having clear written guidelines for every major position in our organization will save us time, money, and potential conflict.
Written Job Descriptions Do Five Important Things:
1. Clarifies exactly what kind of skills we are hiring for. Churches often hire based on personality, reputation, or a recommendation. The question, though, is can the person actually do what we are hiring them for? Do they have the skills to do the job?
2. Conveys Some of the Organizational Culture. The job description can also give a sense of the church or organizational culture, allowing prospective employees to get a better idea of who you are. A well written job description can save you time, money, and hassle with your recruitment process. More than just hiring somebody with the required skills, we want to hire someone who has the right chemistry to be part of our team.
3. A Clear Understanding of the Job. For the employee, having a clear job description allows them to understand the responsibilities and duties that are required and expected of them. It spells out exactly what their job will look like. This will prevent misunderstandings about why the person was hired. Of course, especially in a church setting, we all have to do things from time-to-time that are not in our job description. The main job requirements, however, should be spelled out clearly in writing.
4. Performance Management. It provides a basis for employee reviews, salary increases, goal setting, and promotion within the organization. A written job profile will let us know if the employee is or is not doing their job. It is the basis for any coaching that needs to take place to keep them on track. It also provides the evidence and details if we have to take any steps of discipline towards the employee or even have to terminate them.
5. Raises the Value of Volunteers. Most churches and non-profit organizations have a small paid staff while also utilizing many volunteers to accomplish their mission. When we take time to clearly define volunteer roles within your organization with job descriptions it gives that role more value and as a result, the people serving in those roles feel a greater sense of ownership. Don’t just write job profiles for the people who are on the church payroll. Create written job descriptions for every major volunteer role as well.
Does your church, organization, or company have written job descriptions? Do you think that you need them?
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