Resource Online - developing job descriptions

by Niels Kjellerup, Editor & Senior Partner of Resource International.

These articles & ideas are based on the know how and experience gained over the years working as a consultant with companies all over the world. The problems and issues seem always to be the same. If you can understand the ideas, they become yours to work with. All I ask is that you acknowledge the source. If you want to discuss issues raised or let me know some of your own insights please do contact me. The thorny issue of copyright means that you cannot commercially use my materials, issue them in any form as your own. Hopefully that won’t prevent you from applying the ideas in your Call Centre.


Developing Job Descriptions for Call Centres.


a. Anatomy of workable job- descriptions

b. Purpose alignment - useful in getting staff to develop


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Review your Call Centre's Job "Descriptions". 

To assist you to develop a better understanding of the role of various positions within your call centre, look at these five areas ....

1. Purpose

A purpose is an idea or a goal which drives you in your life and work. It is nearly always a ... "I want to ..." or "The group wants to ..." or "The company wants to ..." statement.

To get a company to function, it must have a stated purpose which applies to all employees; a purpose which inspires all individuals in their job function to pull in the same direction. It is never a bloodless, unemotional statement of intent, since such statements do not inspire to greater achievements.

Complimentary to the company purpose, each position within the organisation has its own purpose. This needs to be clearly defined so that each person understands what their purpose is within the organisation.


2. Product

A valuable final product (VFP) is goods or services delivered into the hands of the customer for which they are willing to exchange a valuable. The real test of defining a VFP for a job function is whether or not the VFP can be measured numerically in such a way as to reflect both the volume and quality of products being produced.

Without a well defined valuable final product, one could argue that the job is invisible and more of an honorary degree than a practical job function. Without a numerical statistic reflecting the value of the job, it will cease to exist or transform into other job-tasks which need to be done.

The definition should enable the person performing the job to answer these key questions .....

How do I know if I am doing a good job?

By what measuring stick am I adding value to the company?


3. Customers

It is necessary to define who are the customers served by the position. Are they external or internal? Is there more than one group of customers? If so, how should time and effort be prioritise to the various groups?


4. Duties

How should the person in this position be spending their time? What are the duties and what proportion of their time should each take? Ensure that these are specific and clearly outlined.


5. Skills

Identify the critical job requirements - knowledge, skills and abilities; the definitions you have already decided upon will assist with this. Once defined, rank them.

Secondly, identify desirable job requirements.


Simply defining these areas will help you to become more aware of the responsibilities of a position. By developing a clearer picture of each true role, you'll feel better about each job, your people will feel better about their job, put more into it, work better together, .... and get a lot more pleasure from it!



back to Job Descriptions


Purpose Alignment 

Individuals often have many different purposes which act as drivers in their life. Learning to identify a purpose is important because personal purposes very often conflict with the job purpose. for example ....

"I work for an airline to get travel discounts; I want to visit places all over the world as a tourist."

This does not necessarily align with the job purpose ....

"To provide such a high level of service to all customers calling the airline that this airline will always be their preferred choice."

Very often staff that are not performing are found ...

1. not to know the purpose of the organisation

2. not to know the purpose of the job

3. not to have realised their own purpose within the job purpose.

So, as a Manager or Supervisor, it is your job to ....

1. clear up the purpose of the job and of the company with the person

2. have the person list their own purposes

3. re-align the purposes of the job with their own purposes.

You will find that your best performing staff have a very clear understanding of what they are doing and how it aligns with their personal ideas in life.


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