405.627.6326 matt@whyhr.guru

When was the last time you reviewed job descriptions for your entire company? If the answer is any longer than a year, it’s time to look again. There are several big goals we can accomplish simply by taking the time to review job descriptions annually, including preparing your company for growth and protecting your company over time. Accurate job descriptions also play a role in any workers’ compensation situations or other employee injuries, which is an often overlooked reason to keep your job descriptions current.

Job descriptions prepare you for growth

Growing a company is a great and exciting thing, and we know that employees take on additional responsibilities as a company grows. If job descriptions do not capture these increased responsibilities, you don’t have an adequate picture of the staffing required to run your business. You may miss the fact that it’s time to add another employee to the team to relieve the burden of an employee doing two jobs.

One of the times we see this the clearest is when an employee moves on from the company. When it’s time to replace the employee, an inaccurate job description will leave you with holes in your team. The tasks missing from the job description won’t necessarily be taken on by the new hire, and you may not realize it until problems arise. An outdated job description could also lead to unexpected costs in hiring a new replacement when you discover that the job’s actual responsibilities call for more compensation.

Job descriptions help protect your company

In any sort of employee lawsuit, a gap in the job description as compared to the actual work the employee performs opens the company up to liability. Job descriptions need to be an accurate reflection of what goes on in your company to reduce risk.

When an employee is struggling to meet performance standards, the job description is the official test for what is expected of them. If the responsibilities are not listed, the employee cannot be held accountable for performing them. It’s difficult to say a worker is underperforming when they are meeting all the responsibilities according to their written job description. But by ensuring that the description reflects your actual expectations, you can evaluate their performance in all areas.

When we talk about reviewing job descriptions, keep in mind the goal is not to glance at the previous description and decide it mostly covers the job or that it’s close enough. This is the time to get employees involved in reviewing what they actually do daily, weekly, and monthly. We know responsibilities change over time, and employees take on tasks that suit their talents and abilities. Our goal here is to make sure their job description accurately reflects all of their responsibilities.

Job descriptions impact injured workers

In the event of injury on the job and workers’ compensation, the company is paying the worker throughout their recovery. When time off work is extended longer than necessary, it is costing the company. If it was an injury outside of work, the employee may be using PTO or FMLA benefits while they recover, and they likely don’t want to be out any longer than necessary.

No matter where or how the worker was injured, the employee’s medical provider will rely on their job description to determine when it is appropriate to return to work. Being able to provide accurate job descriptions will protect both the company and the worker.

On the side of safety, you always want the medical professional to know exactly what the job entails. Whether the injury happened at home or work, a return to full responsibilities carries the risk of reinjury. An accurate job description helps everyone involved determine the appropriate time to return to work, as well as identify any light duties that could be performed before a full return.

If you need help updating your company’s job descriptions and ensuring they’re in alignment with the actual jobs being done, reach out to the WhyHR team to discuss how we can help.

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