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Productive Job Descriptions

June 26, 2015

Now that you know the importance of creating job descriptions for a new position, here’s a new perspective.

Using this knowledge you can not only better determine what the description of the job should be but how you can measure whether a person is performing well on the job or not.

The concept of the “Valuable Final Product.” 

The word “valuable” means that other people will consider it has value and can be, therefore, exchanged for other things of value, like support or a paycheck or goodwill.    The word “final” means that nothing else follows.  It is a finished thing.   So a “Valuable Final Product” is a completed thing that can safely be delivered to others who will then exchange something of value for it.  One product of a Receptionist could be “a well-received call” but the Valuable Final Product (that product you as the employer would be willing to spend money to get) is more likely “A correctly received call that is courteously and promptly connected to the right person.”

What is critical to understand about a real product is that IT CAN ALWAYS BE MEASURED.

In the National Hockey League they not only track the production record of VFPs (“goals made”) but many sub-products like “assists”, “penalty minutes”, “power play goals” and so forth.  Professional sports are the world champions at measuring production.  They measure everything and sure enough, they do not have to guess very much when recruiting a new player.

Business communities, however, are far behind sports teams in this regard.  It is almost mystical how blind we have been to this simple fact for so long.

How much a staff member produces are questions that must be answered if you want business and industry to become more productive and efficient—and not just in your sales area.   Furthermore, you must be able to tell the difference between an actual product and a “no-product.  This is easily accomplished by creating a list of activities and products from your own company and just working through the list.  For example:

No product: writing letters Product:  correctly spelled and written letters
No product: working on the computer Product:  a client’s information updated and current in the computer
No product: attending a meeting Product:  a resolved situation

If you take some time to work out what it is you want produce and then create job descriptions from that final product—a product that can be measured—then you will easily see if your staff are performing on the job and will no longer have to guess.  And you will know what to ask about when interviewing for a position.

One of the main reasons potentially good people do not produce is they have no idea what their valuable final product is supposed to be!  And if you want production from your people you better make sure they understand what their valuable final products are in their particular spheres of operation.

Look around your office, how many staff are busy and swamped with work that will not result in a valuable final product.  Reduce this load and get them onto something with a purpose and you will have a much more productive high morale group—try it.

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