Summit Organizational Development

Job Descriptions and SOPs

Human Resources

Job Descriptions and SOPs

January 2020 | 4 minute read

Job Descriptions and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) play an integral part of a company’s success because they promote a healthier and more productive workplace. No matter the size of your business, these handy tools will strengthen the organizational wellbeing of your business and lead to greater success! They provide a clear understanding of the focus of the position, identify and list the main responsibilities (role clarity) and articulate the anticipated outcomes of the role.  Documented job descriptions and SOPs prepare your company for growth, reduce frustration and conflict among the team, assist with succession planning and ease the onboarding process for new employees by reducing the training time necessary and minimize errors – saving you time and money.  They also allow for smooth transitions in situations where responsibilities change, staff are away on vacation or disability, or a new team member is hired.

Why is it important to have a well written job description?

1. It outlines the job title, who they report to, if they have direct reports, gives details on the work environment, employment conditions, location of the position and sometimes the pay grade

2. Clearly defines the content of the tasks, work methods, priorities and outcomes of a role

3. Creates clarity as employees understand their responsibilities and the responsibilities of all members of the team.

4. Delivers an understanding across the company of who does what

5. It serves as a communication tool to tell employees what tasks they are expected to perform

6. May address quality and quantity of performance standards

7. Lists the education, degree or professional designation required

8. Describes the minimum length of experience, essential skills and knowledge needed to successfully perform the job

9. Outlines the physical demands of the job

10. Serves as a legal document that can be useful in the event an employee files a wrongful termination or discrimination lawsuit

11. Streamlines the recruitment process to identify the right fit/experience/skill set needed so that applicant can decide to apply or not

12. Helps formulate questions for the interview process

13. Assists in matching available survey data for compensation planning

14. Creates goals for advancement

15. Can help to identify staffing needs

What about SOPs?

It is critical to have documented processes in place, that describe the activities necessary to complete the main tasks within each job description.  This will ensure the products and/or services are delivered consistently every time.

SOPs become a part of your training plan by outlining the most critical tasks within the job description.

They can be used as a tool or benchmark in performance evaluations, which may lead to assessing your growing staffing needs and/or creating new positions.

SOPs are designed to achieve best practice; however, an SOP will grow and develop with time in order to remain relevant and meaningful.  So, in simplistic terms, ensure your SOPs are reviewed and updated on a regular basis. State how this is going to be achieved within the SOP. Examples of triggers that would alert you to make changes or review your SOPs include when new equipment or software is implemented, when new processes are required and every time an employee resigns or is hired to ensure  they reflect the position’s current tasks.