I am currently reviewing my company's training program and I also just finished reviewing an excellent thread here regarding position descriptions for training.
HOWEVER.....let me back the cart up one moment. Does anybody have any suggestions or comments regarding how to determine positions/titles in the first place? (he asks as he throws the meat out to the piranhas )
When I started the training program a while back, I asked employees to define their titles for the tasks they perform and a brief job description. It's amazing how pomp and circumstance some people made their positions. I guess it is somewhat encouraging to note that no one used "King" or "Emperor" in their title although there were a few that came close.
Would using the philosophy of, 'Use titles and organize positions similar to what you would do if you were placing a want-ad', be too simplistic?
We are a small company where people wear many hats. Should position title/descriptions be down to the nth detail? (I have a feeling somebody is going to say "Keep it simple and do what works for you").
Also should positions such as "Security Manager" and "Benefits Manager" be included seeing they are not directly part of the quality system?
The bottom line is my training system is not working well and is performed to meet the ISO requirement versus actually used for value. IMHO it is too bogged down in detail and needs to be simplified.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Okay people, let me have it
I've seen these job title wars before! What a hoot. All of a sudden the clerk becomes a data entry specialist.
Gather up everyones' suggestion for their job title like you have done. Then get a team of level headed supervisors/managers to review them. Have the team create the official titles, using your org chart (if you already have it) as a model.
If you allow peoples emotions and inflated sense of self worth to rule your decisions, you will have a job title for every person on your payroll, and some will have two. If titles are that important to these people, I'm sure you can find some terminology that is acceptable. Data Entry Coordinator, instead of Data Entry Clerk, etc.
Personnally, I never have understood the big deal, I don't care what you call me, as long as I get my check on time I've been called worse things in my life than clerk or janitor, and as the quality police, I spend a lot of time cleaning up others' messes
I had to laugh to myself as I read your question and Steelmaiden's reply as I've seen the same type of stuff happen regarding job titles and descriptions. The old joke about a gas-station attendant being a "Fuel Dispersement Engineer" ain't too far off of what happens sometimes. However, a couple of quick thoughts from my little brain: First, realize (which I think you do already from reading your post) that many people feel titles really are important for many reasons. For example, at a gathering it is nice to answer with something important-sounding when asked "so what do you do?". Imagine if you will being the guy or gal who has to pump out Sani-Pots for a living (ugh!). If I were that person I'd much rather have the title "Waste Management Technician" or something else flowery like that than "Portable Toilet Cleaner". You get my drift. So, when I participated in job title and description work at a previous company I reviewed existing job titles and descriptions used by other companies by doing a 'net search for "job descriptions". I used these lists to get started and modified them as needed to fit our business, always keeping in mind the need for the employees to have a title that was at least somewhat important-sounding.
Next, don't get too specific or IMHO it'll come back to haunt you with that oft-used phrase "that ain't in my job description". The "...and other duties as required" phrase helps here, too, especially in small companies where one person has many hats to wear like mine and apprently yours, too. I focus on the main duties I want that person to accomplish, not the specifics. During regular performance reviews the job description and title should be reviewed to make sure it is still appropriate.
Instead of first asking people what they think their title and duties should be I instead suggested what I thought was right and asked them if it sounded okay, making changes if I missed something important. This seemed to avoid most of the "I want to be 'Director of Purchasing' arguments from a 'Purchasing Clerk'. If you ask first, and they want something high falutin' for a title, you may crush morale a bit when you give them something less grandios.
And of course, your KISS and make it work for you is ALWAYS good advice.
I also work for a small company, with employees who wear many hats. I let them do most of their job descriptions. I took a lot of stuff out, because I don't think they need to list every little itty bitty thing they might do once. Myself and management chose titles. Lord help me if I let them pick their titles. I would end up with Czar of the toolroom and Princess of Production for sure!!
Definitely keep it simple. For extra :ca: I always add at the bottom, "Any other duties assigned by the plant manager". Always works for me!
Anyway, I got some ideas from somebody in here. I can always send you a copy if you like. Let me know.
Originally posted by Sbell Instead of first asking people what they think their title and duties should be I instead suggested what I thought was right and asked them if it sounded okay, making changes if I missed something important. This seemed to avoid most of the "I want to be 'Director of Purchasing' arguments from a 'Purchasing Clerk'. If you ask first, and they want something high falutin' for a title, you may crush morale a bit when you give them something less grandios.
And of course, your KISS and make it work for you is ALWAYS good advice.
As we were recently going through our ISO 94 certification...(I know Marc, I know...why 94)...and the answer is...
But at any rate in the QA group we had our training folders all ready and the first thing the auditor looked as was our Job Descriptions. They are the standard one-page phraseology out of HR that this big company uses for this level of position. They are different from entry level to Senior Staff, etc so requirements change as you progress.
Our auditor gave us an observation on the description not being detailed enough...wanted more day to day tasking kind of stuff in it.
Is this not another one of those cases where the auditor went to far in his finding, personal oppinion vice the standard requirement?
So my question is as we get ready for our 2000 cert should we have to expand these documents or since it works for us will that be good enough to meet the standard?
Actually, I don't think that it says anywhere that you have to have "job descriptions" it does state that you have to determine the necessary competence. Job descriptions are kind of a logical sequence, right?
As far as whether or not yours were detailed enough depends on whether the auditor found that there was a lack of assignment of responsibility/authority, lack of training, or that competence was not established.
For what ever it is worth, here is an example of things I have placed in job descriptions in the past:
High School Diploma or equiv.
Good Phone/Communications Skills
Ability to work as a team member
Skills (either present upon hiring or to be developed):
Type 60 wpm
Familiarty with 10 key calculator
Competency in use of Microsoft Office Applications
Familiarity with product line
Answer phones and direct calls to appropropriate area
New Customer Mailings
File shipping paperwork
Member of Customer Focus Team (or any group that this person would be a part of by definition of their job title)
Type letters, reports, etc. as may be required for operations
Other clerical duties as may be assigned
and so forth and so on.
The thing to remember is, you need to make this all work for you. What I do, or what your auditor thinks you should do, means little or nothing if it doesn't add value. We did it this way because it allowed us to create a checklist for training, as well as an easy way to assess competency.
We have a matrix that shows what jobs/people need to be notified when revisions are made. We are in the process of creating a database for doc control that will automatically show a message on log on for all revised documents (or new or deleted) depending upon one's log on - job title.
We have taken our "Skill Sets" and developed the training requirements from them. This training/Work Instructions package is maintained and as they aquire a skill it is signed off and the WI is no longer needed to be referenced.
As for job titles; use whatever is easiest to reference and makes sense when viewed on an org chart (I guess that's why they don't let me use Bodacious Bubba). We still have some TBDs on ours!