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Chapter 7. Who's Gonna Do the Work? > Assigning the Work - Pg. 74

Who's Gonna Do the Work? 74 Heads Up! For the team to function effectively, every job description should be reviewed periodically. If it no longer ac- curately reflects the work that's being done, revise it, or risk problems ahead. One problem with job descriptions is that they get out of date. Too often, in this dynamic world, the jobs change over time, but the job description may stay the same and in time become unrealistic. In such cases, the job should be reanalyzed and a new job description written. To keep job descriptions current, team members should have periodic meetings dedicated to dis- cussing their current perceptions of their roles and the work they do. Another problem is that job descriptions tend to stifle creativity and innovation. There are some people who take the job description too literally and are unwilling to do anything that is not specifically indicated. How often have you asked someone to do something other than his or her routine work and heard the response, "It's not in my job description!"? All job descriptions should include the phrase "and any other duties that are assigned." The inclusion of this phrase doesn't mean that you can order any team member to do any job that pops up. It means that you can assign duties that are not specifically listed but that are job-related. Spread the Work Equitably In some jobs the routine work takes up a great deal of the time for most team members. In others, although standard work must be done, most of the team members' efforts involve special assign- ments. The team leader usually decides who will do what. In the team environment, it is best to give the members some control over their work assignments. This will encourage them to take charge of their jobs, resulting in more interest, more commitment, and more enjoyment from their work. This, in turn, will lead to more productivity. Some ways a team leader can accomplish this are · Provide associates with the training and knowledge to master their work. Encourage them to read books, take courses, and attend seminars that will enrich their job knowledge. · Work with associates to set goals and develop plans to reach those goals. Jointly establish standards against which progress can be measured. · Encourage collaboration with other team members in determining methods and procedures, solving problems that arise, and making decisions on jobrelated matters.