I am in the process of creating an updated office manual over the next few months. One of the key pieces will be the job descriptions for each of the employees on the team. I have had the opportunity to work on job descriptions may times for my own practices and other companies over the years. In the early years i created them, sitting down and thinking through the things I thought a person in a particular role ought to be responsible for. With the job description in hand I then went about finding a person that fit that mold, or worse trying to make the person already employed int hat job fit into what I had written. it was often like forcing a square peg into a round hole, so you can imagine how well it worked.
About a decade ago I became exposed to the concept of dynamic job descriptions. i am not certain if the concept would work in all businesses, but it is ideal for dental practices and their teams. i have used it multiple times over the years with my teams and it works amazingly well every time, so I will be suing it again next month for our new office manual. The process starts by inviting each team member to make a list of all their current job duties, whether they do them 20 times a day or once a year. On each person’s list will be many things that are very specific to them. For instance assistants are the team members responsible for sitting chairside with the dentist. These very role specific items are placed on the job description for that job, seems obvious.
In addition to role specific tasks every person will have items listed that could in truth be accomplished by anyone on the team. Once every team member has created their list you come together as a group. Team members keep the role specific things they listed on their personal job description, and all of the general items are compiled into a list. With this complete list of all the extra tasks that have to be accomplished for your office to run effectively in hand the process of creating dynamic job descriptions begins. Each member of the team gets to choose an item off the list and add it to their job description. Go around the room letting people choose until every item on the list has been taken.
The first few times around, team members get to choose the tasks they like the most, feel they do the best and fit their gifts and talents most closely. At the end the tasks left will be the ones no one relishes doing, like changing the plaster trap. The reality is, everyone has gotten their role specific tasks, and the universal ones that wanted the most, so will also have to take one or two that simply have to get done for things to work. In my experience team members love this process, they take the “end items” with a smile on their faces because they also got all the things they picked, and nothing was hoisted on them. So next time you have to redo job descriptions try making them dynamic and let me know how it works.