Meeting and exceeding job expectations are extremely hard without a job description. Lacking knowledge of what you are expected to do it’s often not easy to accomplish the tasks intended of you. The farm is one place that knowing what your tasks entail is extremely important but it’s also one of the places least likely to provide a job description.
Farm Journal succession expert, Kevin Spafford says that this is one of the major problems during succession because each person is not exactly sure what the responsibility of the others are. Friction can occur because there are not clearly defined individual roles on the farm. Spafford also says that effective succession includes determining which family members are best suited for leadership positions on the farm. Leadership roles can often be better fitted once a description of the job is intact.
The descriptions don’t need to be fancy or lengthy, rather a list of a few key items. Once the role of an individual is determined it is then necessary to determine a job title. Following a job title outline a brief list of duties, primary and secondary responsibilities. Then determine a direct supervisor, direct report, specific qualifications and trainings required of the job. List out the skills required, suggested experience, recommended education, attributes, abilities or interests necessary to do the job well. Are there physical requirements of the position? Next, you should line out the salary range, expected work hours, benefits and safety responsibilities of the job.
Gaining a better understanding of the intended responsibility of each employee and family member will make the succession process more successful. As part of the Farm Journal Legacy Project you can find a bank of downloadable tools on the website. Specifically, you can find ajob description worksheet. Simply download and print the form to begin understanding everyone’s responsibilities.