As a manager, one of your main jobs is to create an environment where employees work well together towards a common goal or vision. One of the ways to improve teamwork in the workplace is to ensure that each employee knows exactly what is expected of them and what should be left to others.
Marvelless Mark® compares a successful team to a successful band. “Musicians talk about those awesome moments where the sound is “tight,” where all the instruments and vocal elements blend together to create something greater than anyone could create alone.”
When it’s time to put your band together, you don’t put a call out for “musicians.” You are looking for a singer, a guitarist, a bass player, a drummer, and maybe a keyboard player. When you bring on any of these people, they know exactly what their role is in the band. They don’t wonder if you want them to play a different instrument the next day. The guitarist won’t kick the drummer off his drums, and the bass player isn’t likely to sing over the lead vocalist. They know what their roles are and because of this, they can create music as one.
Now imagine that your department ran just as well. Everyone knows exactly what they’re doing. They are willing to help and support their fellow teammates, and no one is trying to shirk their responsibilities in the hope that someone else will pick up their slack.
This may get a little murky in situations where multiple projects are happening at once, and where employees don’t have set roles but rather fluid responsibilities based on the project at hand. The more work you do up front to communicate expectations, the better off it will be in the end.
The Benefits of Clearly Defined Responsibilities
- Employees know what to do. They understand the goals of the group and they know exactly what they have to accomplish in order to reach those goals.
- Employees enjoy working together. When they know exactly where their responsibilities end and their coworkers’ begin, they will be less likely to step on another employee’s toes to “look good” or to ignore their responsibility in the hopes that someone else will do it.
- All aspects of the project get completed. Instead of everyone shying away from the less-enjoyable tasks, they are clearly assigned, communicated, and finished.
How to Define Responsibilities for your Staff
When it’s time to assign roles and responsibilities to your employees, there as several steps that you need to follow:
1) Complete an organizational audit where you list every single employee in the company or in your department.
2) Determine what roles you need filled and what projects you need completed. Do you have enough staff or do you need to hire? If you need to hire, consider exactly what the new employee will be doing and hire accordingly.
3) If you have all the staff necessary, review their existing job descriptions, the tasks that they are already responsible for, the skills that they have, and the tasks that they enjoy doing.
4) Choose the best employee for each role based off of the above characteristics. If you are giving someone responsibilities beyond their job description, be careful not to take away another employee’s responsibilities without explaining why you are doing so.
5) Clearly communicate to every employee what needs to be done and who within the team will be handling it.
Once you’ve followed these steps, stick to your decisions. Changing responsibilities in the middle of a project may leave employees frustrated, overwhelmed, and angry with both you and their co-workers.
When you clearly define each employee’s roles and responsibilities, you create a harmonious environment where your team can work together as one. When they work together, rock star results are just around the corner.
“We do great work together and we do inspire each other, and I think we have a very good sense of how much further we can go in the company of each other than just on our own.” — Adam Clayton, U2
Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars.