Usually when this type situation arises, it's because of a disconnection between what they employees expect and what you expect. When we hear this we can usually ask one question to find out why the miscommunication exists: Do you have a detailed position description for the person or people who are not performing at your expectations? The answer to this question is usually no. A comprehensive position description is necessary to ensure both you and the staff understand completely the position and what it entails.
A detailed position description typically includes 6 parts:
Part 1 – This is where you describe your company, its values and how it operates. It's best to sprinkle in some standards are about your business as well; this will only air in your favor. Example: "XYZ Company is the premiere provider of THESE services in the YOUR TOWN metropolitan area. We have a reputation for providing excellent quality, prompt service and we treat our customers and employees with respect in a fun and safe environment." The employee should get a real feel and flavor of your company by reading this.
Keep in mind you will be reviewing this position description with potential candidates so it should solve any problems you are having "with employees within it." Meaning if you are having challenges with employees not wanting to go above and beyond to make more money, outline these possible issues in a positive way within the position description. (More to come in Part 3.)
Part 2 – This part should be reserved for the position’s title and provide an overview of the purpose and responsibilities for the position. Include what areas of the business the person will be responsible for and what you expect them to accomplish.
For example: "The stylist will be responsible for styling hair as indicated by the customer or according to a style that will compliment the customers features in the best manner. If the stylist is not sure what to do they will confer with the senior stylist or Suzy/Owner on the best style for that person. They will also refer the customer to the hair style magazine to pick a style or they ask the customer what actor or actress style of hair they like."
The key here is to put in writing what you would like your employee to do and how you would like them to do it. The more you put in the position description the better.
Part 3 – Necessary experience and education level should be entered here and remember to always be as specific as possible in this section. If you are willing to accept someone with less education but having a background consisting of similar attributes or experience, note that here. This is a good place to change negatives into positives by adding things you don't like with your current staff now so future staff will comply. For example: If you don't like how stylists refuse to take on new customers close to end of their shift for the day, put in the position description the attributes that would like a stylist to have like the employees' proven commitment to doing what it takes to cater to customers, including taking a new customer from time to time when it is close to their end time.
Now you have your exact requirements for the position in writing and the employee has an expectation of what you want them to do when this situation comes up.
Part 4 - Personal Characteristics. This area consists of the behavioral characteristics you are searching for in a stylist. Be specific and only focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. Turn the negatives around into positives and put them in this area of the position description.
Part 5 – In this area put all the information related to compensation, reporting, training, benefits, scheduling/hours, start date, vacation and any other benefits you are offering. Work on making this offer sound very attractive yet never crossing lines by making promises you don’t intend on living up to.
Once you completed your first position description your next ones will be easier to write. Take the time to make detailed position descriptions like the one we reviewed above and you will eliminate the majority of excuses surrounding expectations of employees and you!
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