Clear Goals Need Clear Roles

The team just missed their deadline, again. And half of your sales group is threatening to quit out of frustration with the production department.

Meanwhile, a client keeps calling to resolve an issue, but no one has called him back...because everyone thinks that someone else has taken care of it.

When employees don’t know their roles, workplace chaos can result.

The consequences of not having clearly defined roles in a company are serious:

- Lack of engagement

Employees are just not interested in doing their job because they don't know what their job is.

- Frustration with the team

When staff members don’t have clearly defined roles, they often step on each other’s toes.

- Targets, shmargets

How can employees know if their targets are being met if they don’t even have clear objectives? This could be lethal for a company.

When job roles are clearly defined, the opposite effect occurs:

- High motivation

Employees do the work they’re supposed to do and take pride and ownership of their position.

- Working together

It doesn’t always have to be the boss giving direction. If employees know their roles, they are able to work with others in a coordinated way to accomplish goals.

- Goals get met

Companies are in a much better positioned to achieve goals when employees understand their own targets within the company.

Three things that employers can do to clarify employee roles and responsibilities are:

1. Create job descriptions

Ensure that each position has a clear job description which identifies the main duties, responsibilities and performance expectations of the position.

2. Communicate expectations

Discuss with employees what your expectations are of them, the goals for their position and how these goals tie to overall company goals and objectives, and the standards to which you expect them to perform.

3. Give feedback

When employees do a good job, let them know and provide specifics of what they did well. When they do a not-so-good job, provide them with constructive feedback. Identify areas for improvement and how they could do their job better. Be kind and respectful.

When employees know what is expected of them, they are more motivated to perform well. With clearly defined roles, employees can only help your business succeed!


Cissy’s track record of 20 years in HR management has earned her a reputation as a leading HR consultant in the Greater Vancouver and BC business communities. Frequently quoted in national news and business publications, she specializes in developing and implementing practical HR policies, procedures and processes for small business. As an advisor to business owners and managers on strategic and tactical HR matters, Cissy del...

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