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




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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 Both get out of date quickly (although they can be revised).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', innovatieforganiseren.nl
 

Rating

 
7
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

 
4
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

 
1
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

 
3
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

 
1
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

 
2
Ivan Kohlinsky
Management Consultant, United Kingdom
 

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

 
1
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

 
2
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

 
1
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

 
2
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

 
2
Musonda Ernest Kabwe
Zambia
 

Employment Still Based on Experience / Curriculum Vitae

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

 
2
kvssiyer
Consultant, India
 

Job Descriptions and Expectations

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

 
5
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

 
1
lenworth grandison
Jamaica
 

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

 
0
LEAH LYNDA I. STA ANA
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

 
3
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

 
1
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

 
2
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

 
3
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

 
1
Richard Mariwa
Manager
 

Job-Roles Discussion and Unions

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

 
2
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

 
1
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

 
2
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

 
2
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

 
4
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

 
1
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

 
2
seechurn
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

 
2
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

 
-1
kvssiyer
Consultant, India
 

Job Descriptions and Organizations Chart

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

 
3
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

 
1
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

 
1
Ivan Kohlinsky
Management Consultant, United Kingdom
 

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

   

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