Forget job descriptions
Are you finding it hard to unearth and retain the right talent? Rather than raising pay, you may need to invest in making the work more interesting – and to move away from job descriptions in favor of focusing on tasks.
You can’t put a round peg in a square hole. Stop hoping that your employees will perfectly fulfill every aspect of their job description. Instead, it’s time to take a look at the work itself, deconstructing and constructing jobs in an agile, flexible work organization. Thinking in terms of tasks so you can match them as closely as possible to your employees’ talents changes everything!
For instance, instead of making a distinction between an in-store salesperson and a telephone adviser, you could easily ask the former to work two days a week in the call center. This way, they will put their know-how as a salesperson and their experience of direct contact with customers to good use while developing skills associated with telephone sales.
Everyone’s a winner: Employees increase their input and can focus on the tasks they like and develop new skills. And the company raises its employee retention and flexibility. This task-based logic means you can speedily re-deploy employees to meet new demands, but also isolate tasks that could be easily automated.
by Ravin Jesuthasan and John W. Boudreau (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2 February 2022).
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