Your Employees' Work is Changing: From a Job to Several Roles

Organization Chart
Knowledge Center


Best Practices
Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Your Employees' Work is Changing: From a Job to Several Roles

We live and work in a very dynamic and competitive world. In order to survive, our organizations are forced to be flexible and high-performing too. This is increasingly influencing the way work and jobs in organizations are set up: instead of 1 job, workers are expected to perform several roles in projects.

Traditionally, the purpose and requirements for a job are described in a 'job description': a structured and factual statement of a job's functions and objectives. It defines the boundaries of the job-holder's authority and includes the job title, department, associated responsibilities, reporting lines, tasks, required experience, knowledge, skills, level and perhaps a clear career path.
A job description is static, and is reflected in an organization chart (organogram). Both get out of date quickly (although they can be revised).

Over the last decade, work is being organized in a more flexible way:
  • Besides their main job/post, employees now perform several roles in projects.
  • Due to internet, laptops, smart phones, etc., knowledge workers no longer have to work in 'the office'; they can work anywhere, anytime.
  • We no longer judge employees on how good they were in their job, or against their formal job description (if any), but on the demand for their know-how and skills.
  • Changed career paths, which are no longer linear and depend on permanent education and personal development
  • Job descriptions remain valuable
    • Give an overall view of the job for job holder and immediate line manager
    • Basis for HR department to match candidates versus the job requirements
    • Basis for performance appraisals
    • Basis for job grading
    • Basis for organization improvements
  • Permanent education and personal development have become crucial for knowledge workers.
  • Employees are increasingly rewarded for results; not for "doing their job'.
  • Breakdown of functional silos and increased working in roles, spanning various business functions.
  • More horizontal mobility between organizations.
For managers and for management as a profession, what are the implications of this transition of workers from having a single job to performing multiple roles?

Adapted and translated from Wilco van Gelderen, 2013, "Ons werk verandert en daarmee ons denken over 'functies',


Bernard N Owusu - Sekyere
Consultant, South Africa

Borderless Demand Makes Job Descriptions a Formality

De Jonge is right when he argues there is a whole shift in work performance and obligation. Many em... Sign up

Onyangore Peter Ogendi
Teacher, Kenya

Are Job Descriptions Now Just Guidelines?

Indeed a job description is now just 'a guideline'. With the arrival of new technology and adults go... Sign up

justice john a
Student (Other), Ghana

Put it in the Job Description

Job enrichment comes as a result of technical know-how in ICT. Recently smart people are enshrined w... Sign up

Alan Kennedy, Canada

The Focus is Shifting from Job Description to 'Expectations'

What we see changing is the move from a one dimensional perspective of work; namely a job descriptio... Sign up

I Gede Darmawijaya
Teacher, Indonesia

Avoid that Side Jobs Become the Main Job

Most employees are working based on their job descriptions. It's their main job. They have to make e... Sign up

Ivan Kohlinsky
Management Consultant, Guernsey

It Can Be a Win - Win Situation with the Right Mindset and Limits

I agree. Many years ago I set about persuading a chief executive that paying staff more for multiple... Sign up

Onyangore Peter Ogendi
Teacher, Kenya

Bringing Out More Talents

We tend to force ourselves in some careers because we have no other options at that moment. With mul... Sign up

Olli Kansanen
HR Consultant, Finland

Job / Roles Discussion

Exactly the same question was discussed in 1990 in management development forums in Europe. This is ... Sign up

rajat baisya
Professor, India

The Traditional Job Description is Now Obsolete

I believe that the old system of job description has lost its relevance as both process and technolo... Sign up

Bantwal Prabhu
Teacher, India

Management is More Broad Based and Hence Multi-functional

Management today is more broad based too and hence success depends on the multiple roles and functio... Sign up

Musonda Ernest Kabwe

Employment Still Based on Experience / Curriculum Vitae

Employment is still based on curriculum vitae, showing a person's experience. Many companies still ... Sign up

Consultant, India

Job Descriptions and Expectations

@Alan Kennedy: Yes expectations are more critical to the function one is assigned with, rather than ... Sign up

Olli Kansanen
HR Consultant, Finland

Purpose of the Job

In my opinion the most important question is the purpose of the job (=Why does the job exist?). This... Sign up

lenworth grandison

Implications for Managers, Opportunities for Employees

Jaap de Jonge is spot on in his observations. This trend surfaced before the internet age, has stead... Sign up

Student (MBA), Philippines

Borderless Demand and Job Description

Borderless demand makes job description a formality, due to the fact that job descriptions are just ... Sign up

Paul Strodike
Management Consultant, South Africa

Skills and Competencies more Important than Job Specifications

For strategic workforce planning, it is more important to know what are the skills and competencies ... Sign up

Ayele Abdata
Manager, Ethiopia

From Specialization to Generalization

Mr .de Jonge's forum topic reminisces us about the first of Fayol's 14 Principles of Management: Div... Sign up

Jasper Mugambi
Manager, Kenya

Implications for Managers' Roles

The implication of this is for managers is that they have to be more keen in their monitoring role. ... Sign up

Marc Tremblay
Manager, Canada

Remaining Multi-functional Employees Have to Carry a Heavier Workload

The topic of discussion resonates with me. In Canada like elsewhere in the world, companies are syst... Sign up

Richard Mariwa

Job-Roles Discussion and Unions

The ongoing discussion assumes the employees are aligned with the objectives of multi-tasking or bro... Sign up

rajat baisya
Professor, India

About the Pressure by Unionised Staff and Trade Unions

@Richard Mariwa: has raised an issue with respect to the pressure that unionised staff and labour un... Sign up

Leticia Olaverria
Accountant, Dominican Republic

Technology Helps Increase New Roles and Duties

I agree with some of the point of views expressed; the fast development of digital tools forces the ... Sign up

Sachin Yemul
Student (MBA), India

Information Technology and its Implications

Day by day IT is evolving and making jobs more critical and complex in terms of roles and at the sam... Sign up

Helen Strong
Business Consultant, South Africa

Mental Boundaries

The above discussion makes some excellent points about how people can grow and have more job satisfa... Sign up

rajat baisya
Professor, India

Working on Mental Boundaries

@Strong has raised a point which we indeed have experienced in the past. Workers suffer from two bas... Sign up

Bantwal Prabhu
Teacher, India

Mental Boundaries and Performance

The trend with management is towards a "more with less"-philosophy in terms of resources, materials,... Sign up

HR Consultant, Mauritius

Recruiting Multi-skilled Employees

I am agreeable to the views expressed by Jaap de Jonge. We are living in a modern world where there ... Sign up

Bantwal Prabhu
Teacher, India

Change is the Watchword of the Future

The only thing that is constant in the world is change, and for survival in the future everyone sho... Sign up

Consultant, India

Job Descriptions and Organizations Chart

A typical organization chart is the pictorial representation of the relationships in an organization... Sign up

David Wilson
Manager, Canada

Employees with Multiple Roles May Be Beneficial

In my experience, if an employee has only one role, the longevity of the employee's job (and career)... Sign up

David Wilson
Manager, Canada

People Need to Future Proof Their Jobs

I am reading a report from the Brookfield Institute on future jobs. The report notes "Everyone expec... Sign up

Ivan Kohlinsky
Management Consultant, Guernsey

We May Have Damaged the Success of This by our Education System

For years business and government has tried to regulate things by infinite specification of procedur... Sign up


More on Organization Chart:
Discussion Topics
🥇 Should Structure Follow Strategy?
🥈 Org Chart of a Virtual Organization
🥉 Levels in Organisations and Role Clarity
What is a Divisional Structure?
When is an Organization Design Good? 7 Indicators of an Effective Organization
The First Organization Chart
👀Your Employees' Work is Changing: From a Job to Several Roles
Higher End Uses of Org Charts
Organizational Charts Say a Lot About the Organization at a Glance
How do You Keep Organizational Charts Current?
Special Organizational Structure for Construction Industry?
When is an Organization Chart Out of Date?
Channels of Communication Within an Organisation?
Bypassing your Boss / Position in the Line of Authority
Organization Chart Software
The Future Proof Organization
Organisation Chart and Communication
Reorganizing a Radiology Department
Utility of Organizational Charts
What are Line Relationships?
Importance of Organisational Structure
Information Flow and Hierarchy Structure
Organization Chart for Export / Import Business
Organization Design as an HR Offering
🔥 Top Level Organization of the Ministry of Education (Education Department)
Where are Projects in Organization Chart?
Organization Chart for a Manufacturing Company
The Fluid Organogram
Special Interest Group

Do you know a lot about Organization Chart? Become our SIG Leader

Organization Chart
Knowledge Center

About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
2023 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V16.1 - Last updated: 28-5-2023. All names of their owners.