Any organization will change as new technology redefines products and customers and changes how jobs are performed, and as teams and roles merge or split.
Over time, this can result in roles which are wildly different from previous iterations of the role, but often with the same employees working in those positions.
This creates risks by preventing leadership from effectively managing employee performance based on job needs now and can hold back a high-performing employee who is expected to perform tasks or skills they were not originally hired for.
Redefining roles will give you the opportunity to both understand and communicate what is expected of employees in their roles now, so both you and they can better manage performance.
Define What is Needed from the Role
Most organizations will have some form of job profiling in place to define what is needed from a role. However, these profiles are often generic, old, or might not even exist at all. Conducting interviews with key employees (including those in the role) will help you to determine actual skills and tasks required for the role now which will help you to see what hard skills are actually required.
For example, if technology has changed, a former requirement may have become completely unnecessary, someone who was highly relevant for the position may not be, and so on.
Use Team-Based Task Allocation to Assign Tasks Based on Individual Strengths
Many workplaces use teams to tackle projects which are often very much interlinked. When you have multiple individuals with similar skillsets working together, you have more freedom to allocate specific tasks based on individual strengths.
Creating team meetings to determine which tasks individuals don’t like to do or which they are bad at will often result in discovering that others enjoy or are good at those tasks. Reallocating (so long as its balanced) will help you to improve the efficiency and the morale of the entire team.
Create Job Profiles to Define Competencies for the Role
Good job profiling often requires third-party assessment or a strong HR component to do so internally, a competency framework to define soft skills which contribute to success, and the ability to correctly analyze what success (rather than simply producing to expectations) looks like in the role.
This will help you to recognize high performers who lack soft skills versus poor performers who lack hard skills or motivation and will help you to offer training or development for motivated employees who could perform better in their role.
Set Up One-on-One Meetings with Individuals
Creating buy-in for change is one of the most difficult aspects of redefining roles, simply because many employees will fear losing their jobs.
Creating one-on-one meetings with leadership to explain what’s happening and why will help many to better understand the process and what’s expected of them, so they are more comfortable and more likely to adapt. It also gives you more opportunities to assess individual strengths so that you know where and why an individual has to develop.
Use Self-Evaluation and Feedback to Solicit Change from Employees
Giving employees the opportunity to evaluate themselves according to new standards and requirements will give them the opportunity to see what they need to change.
You can achieve this by asking for monthly progress and achievement reports from employees, using third-party self-evaluation tools, or have employees draw out self-evaluations of performance goals and competencies.
Why? Self-evaluation gives many the opportunity to consider their performance from a personal perspective, which will create motivation.
Managing roles as they change is important for ensuring the continued productivity and value of the role. Working to create buy-in from employees with transparency and personal development, while using tools including competency frameworks and job profiling to better understand what is needed in a role will help you to manage both by ensuring you know what success looks like in the role and how to get there.