This personal story will be short since, in almost every situation, the story was the same.
If done correctly, job descriptions spell out what needs to be accomplished (top 10-12 job responsibilities) in order of importance. Now that sounds like a good idea, right? Well, not exactly. As you can probably figure out there are “advantages” in keeping language in a job description vague. For a matter of fact, some companies’ job descriptions were so “vague” I couldn’t find any. Talk about a travesty, especially for the employees.
Managers I’ve worked with don’t really think about job descriptions. They don’t know how to write them nor do they care to. In one job assignment an assistant and I wrote all the job descriptions using the guidelines in my post on the subject. They were written with specific job responsibilities, knowledge, skills, abilities, etc. Unfortunately when I left, top management replaced them with vague descriptions. Why? It’s easier for managers to use vague language and use them as they see fit… Some employees like vague job descriptions, too, especially with weak bosses knowing that will make their jobs easier.
I’ve included a quote (below), which fits another reason for vague or non-existent job descriptions.
Read my “what do job descriptions accomplish” to understand that being a leader requires a lot of hard work, and the rewards are well worth the time and effort.
Quote: “Bad managers are skilled at the “divide and conquer” strategies of Machiavelli, manipulating colleagues, employees and bosses.”
Next: “Basic Principles of Succeeding with People” personal stories