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Employees love working in organizations with clear duties and responsibilities. They know what their manager expects of them. They understand how they can contribute to the business and how they can be successful. This article guides managers on how to write the duties and responsibilities for a job role. 

Defining the Duties and Responsibilities

We define a job role in five steps:

  • Duty and impact of a role
  • Responsibilities as the activities and deliverables expected from someone in a role
  • Natural understanding of a role
  • Job requirements

Having clear duties and responsibilities will engage your employees to both their own and the business’ benefit.


You can read more about employee engagement here…

Engaging Every Team Member

Define the duty – Who is impacted by a role and how?

We often find it easier to define the duty by describing the positive impact of this role on others. It is also helpful to think about what happens when this role fails. This description considers everyone involved, resulting in clear and inspirational expectations.

Let us take the example of a cook in a restaurant. The duty may be difficult to define. Yet, it is easy to explain the cook’s impact on customers and colleagues and suppliers. For example, we may say that a cook should:

  • Amaze customers’ eyes and palates
  • Make the service process less stressful for colleagues
  • Choose sustainable suppliers

List the activities and deliverables expected from this

Responsibilities should explain the routine activities and deliverables of a role. This list should be simple enough for anyone in the position to remember. Yet, it should be complete enough to clarify any overlap with other roles. It is helpful to think of the high-level steps of this role’s process. In the example of a cook, these should clarify whether the cook would be:

  • Responsible for designing the menu
  • Preparing the dishes himself or else directing others in the kitchen
  • Selecting suppliers, sending orders, or creating the order list

The right level of detail in the responsibilities transforms the duty of the role into a set of tangible actions and deliverables.


The natural understanding of the role

Persons in a role must have a fundamental understanding of what it takes to succeed at that job. They must behave naturally to lead to success in the role. It is not enough to understand what should be done but require constant reminders to do it. The basics of the job role must come naturally to persons in this role.


It is imperative to recognize these fundamentals. Otherwise, the person in the post will probably struggle, execute the job poorly and have their energy drained. Moreover, if a person lacks this understanding, they often cannot gain it through training or experience.
In the case of the cook, these behaviours could include:

  • Tending to enjoy cooking (unless completely burn-out at work)
  • Can whip up a nice meal with anything
  • Always seeking new ideas from books, online resources, and anyone they meet
  • Take great interest in the ingredients
  • Take pride in teaching others about cooking

Job Requirements

The requirements for a job cover four main aspects, namely mental, emotional, physical, and time capacity.People often gain this over time through education, training, and experience.


The mental and physical capacities are often somewhat certified by official training bodies. Yet, there is often a gap between the standards of a school and the needs of a business. Some companies use tests to confirm these abilities. Cooks would have attended a hospitality school and grown their experience during internships. In fact there are also tests to assess a cook’s ability to focus during stressful situations.


Emotional capacity is a person’s ability to understand and control emotions in situations experienced in this role, which may be gained through experience in similar roles. This could include dealing with customer complaints or dying patients. A cook would benefit from knowing how to deal emotionally with his peers in the typical stress levels of a kitchen.


Finally, time capacity defines the time required to do the job and the related schedule. A cook’s working hours depend on the restaurant’s opening times, meaning long hours, weekends, and public holidays.


You can read more about recruitment tips here…

A practical guide to recruiting the best


Measure For Success

The last step is to define concrete, activity-based measures, with goals, that show what good looks like for this role.Specifically, these numbers remove subjectivity about whether the person is performing well or not.

They also create objective points for discussing improvements. In some roles, these measures are also tied to financial bonuses. A cook may have measures on the number of customers served and customer satisfaction feedback. 360-degree feedback from the cook’s team can also cover the team interaction. Simple yet effective.


Book a call

Do you need help with defining duties and responsibilities for your team? Are you struggling with finding the right talent? Book a discovery call with one of our coaches to discuss how we can help you implement a recruitment process that delivers guaranteed results and will tackle this issue once and for all.

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