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4-Steps to Role Clarity for Your Team

design Jun 23, 2022

You ever thought to yourself about a team member, "You have ONE. JOB. How are we missing this?"

Or, "How do they not see that what they do daily impacts what we're driving toward?"

So often we write job descriptions and assume it's clear enough what someone needs to do to perform well in their role and understand how it connects to the big picture. It's all there isn't it? Seven pages of tasks and qualification listed out so that each person understands their piece of the pie.

And yet, when we get in the day-to-day of doing the work it can get muddy—especially in small businesses where people often wear more than one hat. 

We see the blurred lines as people not taking ownership of their tasks in the way we'd expect. We see a gap in what people are doing daily and the numbers we measure. We see confusion around what they are really trying to contribute to the business as a whole.  

If we're ever going to overcome the gap between what the business needs to function at it's best, and what people are contributing daily to help us get there, we have to ask the question:

Do my team members know what success looks like in their roles?

If you're not sure, or it's clear by the way things are going that they aren't sure—we have a simple 4-step formula to help. 

Here's why creating this level of clarity is important—every business has a Org Chart filled with the names of the people working in the business, but it's often underutilized. Inside of that Org Chart we have the opportunity to not just establish a hierarchy or chain of command, but give focus and intention to every role in the organization. This is where this 4-step formula has so much power. It helps us create value for the business by giving it focus and structure. And it gives value for the individuals in the seats in that Org Chart by pointing to what success looks like in their role.

Meet with your team members to outline their role with this 4-step formula:

  • Function: name the seat they fill in the business - needs to be clear, not clever. Ex. Sales, Marketing, Admin, etc.
  • Mission: What is the ultimate end-goal for this role? If they had one-singular focus that encompassed all the activities they perform, what would it be? Write it in one sentence—again, clear, not clever. Ex. Sales: Convert leads to customers.
  • KPIs: Name 3-5 metrics that demonstrate progress toward the mission. Ex. Sales KPI - # of new sales per week
  • Roles & Responsibilities: A short, bulleted list of the key activities that are crucial to achieving their mission. List it.

Outlining this doesn't have to be perfect from the beginning. You're creating a baseline for future conversations and planting a flag for them to march toward.

We have an easy-to-use Org Chart tool inside of the S2 Sync App that will help you bring this full-circle for everyone in your organization. Try it here for free.

—benj

P.S. Tip for you to communicate ownership in a role: when we coach teams through the System & Soul Framework, we always add this one thing to every leader's Roles & Responsibilities.  

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