Job Description Creep: “and All Other Duties Required”
The phrase at the end of most job descriptions, “and all other duties as required” is one of the most dangerous expressions a remodeling company can include when looking for your next team member. While it is intended to capture any additional items that are not included in the overall description, it often has very adverse effects.
He’s not your Type
By including the “all other duties” phrase in your description you run the risk of attracting
the individual that really is not motivated to do the job and therefore needs the statement. This individual is always waiting to be told what to do, does not show initiative on their own and often needs to be directed.
Whether the “all other duties” phrase is included or not, it is critical to vet-out this type of person in your hiring process and hire people that are self-initiators.
In addition, you need to identify this quality in your existing team members and either correct it or let them go as soon as it rears its ugly head. This business is tough enough without having to monitor every employee to see if they are doing their job “and all other duties as required.”
Production Managers at-risk
In my experience, adding this “all other duties” phrase can be particularly impactful in the Production Manager role. Most people that move into this role are highly motivated, experienced and very driven to do whatever is necessary without additional tasks being assigned.
Because many Production Managers are skilled at many of the functions of remodeling, including the “all other duties” phrase can lead to them taking on additional tasks, regardless if they have the time to do them. This not only increases the likelihood of primary tasks not being completed on time, it also leads to increased hours for the PM and job burnout.
Without spelling out the job description in detail, the production manager’s primary role is to manage production. There are some pre-job-start functions that accompany this but in general when the job is sold, the production manager and his/her team take over.
As the economy continues to improve, the number of inbound calls taken by a company expands as do the sales. It puts a strain on the sales-to-production process so typically a company begins looking for ways to increase the speed that projects get turned over.
Very often estimating is the process that is turned over to the PM as an “all other duties required.” If a PM is not a solid estimator or is not effectively trained to capture all of the non-production related expenses (overhead, sales margin, etc.) damage to a company’s GP can be fast and critical.
Don’t take it from the field
Another task that often gets assigned to the Production Manager is the ordering of materials and job scheduling. Often there is a presumption that the PM, being as talented as he/she typically is, will be smarter than the field staff so they should order materials and create the job schedule.
Not only does this take time away from their primary roles of managing people and production, it robs the Project Managers or Lead Carpenters of the very tasks that create ownership and efficiencies.
In some instances, the Production Manager takes on these additional tasks to compensate for lack of ability in the Job Manager. Instead of training a Job Manager to do their job properly they take the tasks on themselves and work 60-70 hours a week and eventually burn-out and leave.
So how do we fix Job Description Creep?
- As you grow, invest in the right people before the function is required. This allows for proper on-boarding and training before their role is critical.
- Resist the urge to take on work unless you have the structure (manpower in sales & production) to produce it effectively and at your desired GP.
In our Production Manager Roundtables we have found that if a PM can clearly define the additional tasks that they have either been assigned or taken on, they can focus on their primary roles of managing people and production. These “and all other duties as required” tasks can be properly assigned, distributed and trained, leading to greater profitability and job satisfaction.