Managing People

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Defining Roles & Responsibilities

In order to effectively manage your staff, it is important to provide them with a clear definition and understanding of their role, function, and responsibilities in the workplace. This will provide them with a good understanding of the job and tasks they are to perform as an individual and within any teams they are a part of. It also provides information on where they fit within the organisation and who they report to, helping to avoid disputes and misunderstandings over authority.

When defining roles and responsibilities in the workplace, you may need to create a list of all of your staff and a list of all of the tasks and roles within your business. You can then assign the roles to each staff member or group of staff. It is important to remain flexible and be prepared to modify your plan in consultation with your employees.

Once you have defined each person's roles and responsibilities, you can recordStaff serving a customer this in a "job description". This can be as formal or informal as you prefer, however it is important to record the key information. Job descriptions provide the opportunity to clearly communicate each individual's roles and responsibilities and also serve as a way to measure performance by setting KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) against the tasks or requirements. Visit Business Victoria to see a sample job description.

With the role of each individual in the organisation defined, you can also create an organisation chart. This chart is a tool that helps to define the inter-relationships between all departments, divisions, teams and people. It defines reporting structures and lines of authority and responsibility, providing a picture of how the organisation functions.

Failing to define workplace roles and responsibilities can create tension, miscommunication and inefficiency within your business. People may be unsure as to what jobs are their own and who they are required to report to. Mistakes and omissions can also occur where people are unsure of what is required of them, therefore creating inefficiencies which cost time and money.

More information on managing your staff can be found at: