The Wikipedia definition of a job description is “a list that a person might use for general tasks, or functions and responsibilities of a position. It may often include to whom the position reports, specifications such as the qualifications or skills needed by the person in the job, or a salary range.”
This is a true definition of what a job description is, but what a job description does for a company is why they are so important to have for each role. Most companies use job descriptions as a recruiting tool, to define performance standards, and career planning. Those are all great uses, but here are four more areas that job descriptions should be used for in a company:
Empowering Employees – a well-designed job description can empower employees to fulfill the potentials of their assigned role as well as hold them accountable to the expectations of that role within your company. Defining the parameters for each employee enables everyone in the office to know exactly what their accountable for allowing them to structure their time in accordance to what’s most important.
Workers Compensation/Reasonable Accommodation – clearly defining the essential functions in the job description for each role in the company proves invaluable in workers compensation cases and in establishing reasonable accommodation guidelines. For example, in certain instances when an employee is injured and unable to perform certain tasks or duties in a role, the job descriptions of a company will provide guidance on the proper job placement of that employee based on their abilities. The job descriptions aid in identifying light duty roles/tasks and therefore reducing a company’s exposure to increased workers compensation costs.
Classification of Exempt v. Non-Exempt – an accurately written job description is the documentation required to determine whether a position is exempt or non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which covers all employers. Remember, it isn’t whether someone is paid salary or hourly that determines if they are eligible for over time pay or not, it is whether the position they are in is exempt or non-exempt as defined by the job description.
Compliance/Legal Purposes – current and complete job descriptions satisfy various compliance requirements, including workers compensation policy requirements, but can also prove essential in defense of various employment liability claims as well as in defense of unemployment claims.
The bottom line: Job descriptions define roles, establish expectations and can save the company time, money as well as reduce the companies exposure to various types of liability.
Article courtesy of TIRE REVIEW.