Whenever you are evaluating if you are a good fit for that position posted on the bulletin board or you have been promoted, the job description is your best ally to learn the primary functions of the job, required qualifications including physical, work conditions and relationship with other positions. This document plays an important role on your on boarding process and provide the basis for future performance appraisals.
If you are the hiring manager, the job description (JD) will be a great tool to communicate all the critical information regarding the position. Clear and complete information detailing the responsibilities and expectations of the job are very important to minimize or eliminate confusion and the feeling of not knowing the expectations. A JD is also a legal document, you want a well written JD to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) or in case an employee files a lawsuit.
To ensure the job description is align with the company goals and culture, I like to incorporate it into the training program, being the spine of the training program design. In a continuous improvement or lean culture, the job description includes the skills and requirements to support the activities associated with it. Every task needs to be covered during training, this is a good way to ensure the on boarding is successful and show respect by establishing a good foundation for the employees success. Nothing better for a good employee-employer relationship than to start with a well designed training created with the employee on mind.