R&R - Roles and Responsibilities (sorry, not Rest & Relaxation)

Kat Birett
Marketing Manager

LinkedIn Profile

Defining roles and responsibilities is a critical step towards business maturity. Without them, it becomes very difficult for organisations to execute strategy, foster employee learning and development, and gain the level of focus required to operate efficiently. Unfortunately, more often than not, roles and responsibilities are neglected. They’re loosely documented, rarely updated, and seldom disseminated throughout the business. So, why is this a problem? And what can I do about it?   

Start on the same page
Each role has its own tasks and responsibilities and communicating these requirements helps minimise confusion and friction and ensures that everyone is on the same page from the very start. Roles help define the relationship with other employees or customers, whilst responsibilities define the specific tasks and accountabilities for an individual. These are best documented and outlined in job descriptions. They help to define the job and expected results, decide the best processes to carry out tasks, set up performance goals, show development areas and reward employees appropriately.  

It is important that these are treated as living documents and revised accordingly. 

Gain clarity around decision making
Someone must handle each decision made within an organisation and in certain situations it is easy to pinpoint who the right person is. In other cases, especially in collaborative environments, it is not always clear who is responsible for making the final decisions.  

When accountability is spread across teams or when there are shared responsibilities, having a clear process over who looks after what and at what stage is important. Documenting these using a process map is an example of how you get from A to B. It is not often that processes are this simple and we know all too well that they often involve many decision points along the way. Therefore, documenting roles and responsibilities in a physical manner can help everyone involved know exactly what stage you are at, what the next steps are, and if there are any roadblocks along the way.  

Process mapping is one way of documenting these controls, capturing approvals, and clearly naming accountability at every step.  

Achieving goals
Like decision making, documentation greatly assists in facilitating achieving goals and targets and the steps to doing so are eased through documentation. There is less duplication of effort, disappointment, frustration, confusion, and greater productivity. Having them on show helps others to understand, respect and value the contributions of individuals, and they are able recognise and celebrate the overall success of a team.  

Documenting roles and responsibilities helps articulate expectations of one another, and even displays attributes or characteristics that individuals may need to help support their performance. This clarity drives high-performing teams to be effective and head in the same direction achieving company goals.
Empowering teams
When individuals own the outcome of a documented task, their contribution to a project is clear. It becomes known who oversees what and cuts confusion among the team. Process tools can help alleviate stress and feeling overwhelmed by showing who is responsible and accountable for tasks.  

Documenting roles and responsibilities supplies clarity to all involved, breeds a culture of collaboration, high performance, and organisational success. Your team members become fully functional and productive, with tight alignment and a transparent culture.  

Holocentric Connect

If you're looking for a tool that helps you capture content such as business processes, work instructions, roles, documents, policies, regulation, and link them together in a secure online library, explore the capabilities with Holocentric Connect. Book a demo today or sign up for a 60-day free trial – whichever suits! 

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