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Role and Competency Profiling for the New Way of Working

Job Descriptions—the bane of the lives of many HR Professionals and Line Managers!  The problem is, the world of work is changing so fast, trying to keep up with the new way of working using old-style tools and processes just doesn’t work anymore.

The fact is we are moving away from job-based organisations to role– and competency-based organisations.  And, we are replacing siloed and antiquated job families and broken career ladders with career mosaics, and replacing old-styled Job Descriptions with new style Role Expectation Sheets.

Why Change?

Does your organisation invest in designing physical workspaces and team rooms to create an environment conducive to collaboration and communication?  And, leverage the latest technologies and tools to deal with the constraints of distance and distributed teams?  But, do you then sidestep the critical task of replacing dysfunctional job-based management systems, antiquated job descriptions, and limiting career paths that undermine the effectiveness of your teams and compromise the health of the organisation’s culture?

It’s time to invest in your people and implement an adaptive framework and supporting infrastructure to create an organisational culture that optimises engagement and a continuous, sustainable, flow of innovative talent.

And, it starts with new, innovative, and modern ways of defining roles.

What is a Role Expectation Sheet?

A Role Expectation Sheets define the behaviours and expectations of a role and replace the old job description.  They describe the expected outcomes rather than a list of tasks.  And, they describe the requirements for a role—no matter who performs the role at any time.

They generally describe the outcomes as part of a competency group, and the competency groups will be similar for the same role at different levels, but with different outcomes.

A Role Expectation Sheet will typically contain:

  • A Value Proposition—the value of the role to the organisation
  • The level of the role—level I, II, III etc—not a job grade
  • Any values specific to the role– e.g. scrum values
  • 4 to 6 Competency Groups—e.g. Technical, Communication, etc.
  • A list of outcomes for each Competency Group– e.g. In-depth understanding of large sections of codebase

They do not contain any information that is not directly relevant to the role, and that can be found elsewhere in other documents.

Why Role Expectation Sheets?

Old-style Job Descriptions just don’t work anymore!  They are too limiting and do not easily allow for the flexibility needed in the new, agile workplace.  Modern, well-drafted Role Expectation Sheets:

  • Enable maximum flexibility—they can be blended in any combination that makes sense to the organisation or team at any one point in time
  • Reduce the need for constant restructuring and redrafting of job descriptions
  • Enable incumbents to understand, unambiguously, what is expected of them in the role
  • Provide the substance for career planning and discussions
  • Set a solid foundation for all other aspects of Agile Talent Management—recruiting, performance, remuneration, etc.

Our Process

Before engagement starts, we understand the organisation and the capabilities and roles of the organisation.

We then put a project in place, based on Agile  Scrum methods.  The Product Backlog is defined, agreed and prioritised.

Working in a team of subject-matter experts, using our analytical rigour and discipline, and working in two-week iteration cycles, we:

  • Draft Value Propositions (purpose statements) for each identified role
  • Identify the core competencies for each identified role that are needed to create value – technical skills, knowledge and experience
  • Draft an initial Role Expectation Sheet
  • Review related role families to look for opportunities to combine around core competencies and value generation
  • Use this information to simplify the total number of role families into career groups
  • For each career group, draft Role Expectation Sheets with clear and simple outcome statements at every level (e.g. Software Engineer I, II, III, IV and V) for each of the identified core competency areas needed in the role
  • Train managers, HR, and employees in the use of the new Role Expectations Sheets and assist with the implementation.

Why TalentAlign?

Job and Competency Profiling has been the “bread and butter” service of TalentAlign for the past 13 years.  We understand in great depth role requirements—especially IT roles and the new roles being created for Agile / Lean workplaces.

We approach the project from a multi-directional viewpoint including: reporting structures, operating structures, and career structures.  This means that, once completed and implemented, the Role Expectation Sheets can be used for all other Talent Management processes.

Over the years we have developed a large database of information relevant to IT, Sales and Financial roles specifically—both role and competency information.  So, we are able to  quickly draft more accurate Role Expectation Sheets, and ensure that the roles are well-articulated across all levels and consistent across the organisation.

Benefits to the Organisation

With completed Role Expectation Sheets managers are able to:

  • Discuss and clarify what is expected of individuals at different levels
  • Have relevant, fair and consistent discussions on performance
  • Conduct more appropriate interviews for new recruits

And HR are able to:

  • Create more accurate specifications for recruiting
  • Plan learning and development around actual competencies for career development
  • Use 360 assessments for better performance reporting
  • Partner with business more effectively through a common understanding and definition of roles.

If you want to create a more flexible and adaptable organisation where you can optimise the skills as needed, the modern Role Expectation Sheet will set the foundation. To speak to us about how we can assist with compiling your Role Expectation Sheets, click here to schedule at appointment to talk to us, or click here to contact us, and we will get back to you directly.