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Do you know how to design the right jobs after creating an organization that reinforces and facilitates your focus on customers? Here are the raw materials, and how to combine them, to make sure every job creates maximum value.

Why: Losing contact with why your company exists, getting caught up in the what and how of everyday work life, is a natural trap. It’s an insidious problem second only to losing contact with customers. When you set out to write job descriptions, have your purpose, vision, and mission statements right next to you. Make sure the job you’re about to create has clear and immediate links to why your company exists and its future.

Customers: Every job needs to explicitly create value for customers. It must be plain that every job exists to impact customers, not to support or facilitate some thrice-removed internal process.

Information: As discussed earlier, the work input and output of today’s worker is information. Clearly describe the kinds information the job requires and the information it produces—thereby satisfying others in the organization.

Results/Standards/Measures: Just like resumes, you don’t want to see ones that describe responsibilities. You want to see accomplishments against high standards and the degree to which the results missed or exceeded the goals that were set.

Relationships: Every job is in relationship to others. Describe the social context of this job and the flows of information.

Your People: Workers who do the job are really the only ones who know what the job is and how to do it. Involve them as early as possible in the design and improvement of their jobs. This is especially important to adding the final element: contribution. That is, the specific benefits the individual hired for the job can uniquely provide.


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