Role Clarity

Kn/a HR Consulting Case Study – The Importance Of Role Clarity

Often we get calls about organizations needing job descriptions.  Job descriptions are a useful tool, but are a means to an end, the end being a common understanding about roles and responsibilities and it all boils down to the importance of role clarity.  Job descriptions are documents that are important for many things, but the real value to the organization and, more specifically, the supervisor and the employee, is a clear and common understanding of the position’s responsibilities. 

Over time organizations change size, they grow or shrink.  They also have staffing changes, including new hires and internal promotions, which bring change in specific talents for and personal likes and dislikes about a position.  This can muddy the water, and there can be a lack of clarity or common understanding about the requirements of a job as well as who should do specific tasks. Yes, Kn/a HR can provide you with updated job descriptions.  Still better, we can partner with you to address the real issues – job or role clarity and clear reporting relationships, as well as how the role fits with the team and contributes to strategic goals and success. 


Kn/a HR Consulting Case Study - The Importance Of Role Clarity

A Tool Required For Clarity 

Kn/a HR was engaged to conduct a role clarity exercise for an organization that knew and understood that they had opportunities to improve efficiencies in their job roles.  They had experienced growth, and as a result, had hired a few new employees as well as had some internal promotions.  Some of the internally promoted team members were reluctant to give up old job duties.  There was a lack of clarity of job duties as well as a lack of clarity of who should supervise or lead certain areas.  The goal was to determine the most efficient assignment of day-to-day-tasks and supervisory duties within the organization, as well as to determine how jobs could be enriched with additional duties as efficiencies were created and unnecessary work was eliminated from the day-to-day job duties of senior positions,  in turn freeing up these senior-level employees so they could focus on strategy. An additional goal was to determine if new positions were required to handle the current workload

A tool was created by Kn/a HR that allowed the organization’s departmental team members to first identify the key objectives of their jobs.  In the next step, the tool focused the group to identify if their day-to-day job duties were contributing to those objectives.  Third, the tool allowed the team members to identify job duties that were not contributing to those objectives. After that, the tool was used by the team members to identify what they should be doing either more of or what they are not doing now– such as higher-level strategic work.   

The Importance Of Role Clarity. 

This tool was used in departmental group workshops.  Each member presented their completed tool to the group.  Team discussions took place, and those duties that were not contributing to objectives were either eliminated or passed to other team members to enrich their roles.  The group workshops allowed team members to self-identify inefficiencies and to create a plan to eliminate those inefficiencies.  It also allowed the team to accept the supervisory roles as they evolved, and it identified the need for a new position within the company.

Lastly, new job descriptions were generated from the information gathered in the group workshops, and they were presented to the organization.

In this example, roles were streamlined, inefficiencies were eliminated, a job was created, unnecessary day-to-day job duties were removed, and additional important job functions were added.  As a follow-up, while assuming continued growth, the organization committed to rerunning the exercise in 12 months.  Kn/a HR followed up by keeping in touch during the next few months to create accountability in team members who were passing along their unnecessary duties.  We also supported those they were passed on to.  


If you are interested in finding out more about the importance of role clarity please contact us today. 

Kn/a HR partners with you to build HR management capacity, tools, and strategies to create a healthy work culture and strong business results. We collaborate with organizations to strategically build the people side of business. Kn/a HR Consulting provides human resource management services to organizations across Canada, including, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.


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