November 22, 2012

Conducting a job analysis

To conduct a job analysis, go through the following steps:

1. Review formal job documentation:

Look at your job description. Identify the key objectives and priorities within it. Look at the forms for the periodic performance reviews. These show precisely the behaviors that will be rewarded and, by implication, show those that will be punished. Find out what training is available for the role. Ensure that you attend appropriate training so that you know as much as possible about what you need to know. Look at incentive schemes to understand the behaviors that these reward.

2. Understand the organization’s strategy and culture:

Your job exists for a reason – this will ultimately be determined by the strategy of the organizational unit you work for. This strategy is often expressed in a mission statement. In some way, what you do should help the organization achieve its mission (if it does not, you have to ask yourself how secure the job is!). Make sure you understand and perform well the tasks that contribute to the strategy.

Similarly, every organization has its own culture – its own, historically developed values, rights and wrongs, and things that it considers to be important. If you are new to an organization, talk through with established, respected members of staff to understand these values. Make sure that you understand this culture. Make sure that your actions reinforce the company’s culture, or at least do not go against it. Looked at through the lens of culture, will the company value what you do? Check that your priorities are consistent with this mission statement and the company culture.

3. Find out who the top achievers are, and understand why they are successful:

Inside or outside the organization, there may be people in a similar role to you who are seen as highly successful. Find out how they work, and what they do to generate this success. Look at what they do, and learn from them. Understand what skills make them successful, and learn those skills.

4. Check that you have the people and resources to do the job:

The next step is to check that you have the staff support, resources and training needed to do an excellent job. If you do not, start work on obtaining them.

5. Confirm priorities with your boss:

By this stage, you should have a thorough understanding of what your job entails, and what your key objectives are. You should also have a good idea of the resources that you need, and any additional training you may need to do the best you can. This is the time to talk the job through with your boss, and confirm that you share an understanding of what constitutes good performance in the role. It is also worth talking through serious inconsistencies, and agreeing how these can be managed.

6. Take Action:

You should now know what you have to do to be successful in your job. You should have a good idea of the most important things that you have to do, and also the least important. Where you can drop the less-important tasks, do so. Where you can de-prioritize them, do so. Where you need more resource or training to do your job, negotiate for this. Remember to be a little sensitive in the way you do this: Good teamwork often means helping other people out with jobs that do not benefit you. However, do not let people take advantage of you: Be assertive in explaining that you have your own work to do. If you cannot drop tasks, delegate them or negotiate longer time scales.

[Source: mindtools]


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