Build Clarity to Become a High Performing Manager
By Eric W. Curtis
Clearly defining job roles (also known as posts) can make the difference between high performing teams and those that are lost. With poor performing teams, managers tend to put out fires all day and act in a disorganized manner.
Assembling high performing teams starts with building clarity by defining team purpose and job posts.
What is a Job Post?
The word post comes from the military, which means a position of duty and responsibility. A job post is an assigned function in a nonprofit...not a person.
A national nonprofit had seven locations run by a central office and each location had completely different organization structures. Many of the positions at each location had the same types of jobs, but the responsibilities or titles were inconsistent and lacked performance metrics, making it very difficult for the central office to manage or implement the strategic plan. In addition, the seven executive directors had different concepts of what they should be doing.
The primary purpose is a single point of focus for a given job function. It is a key factor that, if missing, can mean the difference between someone really understanding what to do with their time and energy and someone who is just busy and not very productive. A primary purpose provides high-level understanding of the position's higher purpose to the organization and how it aligns to other job functions.
Since each post needs a primary purpose, the next step is to identify the top activities that fulfill the primary purpose. Its helpful to focus on assembling the top five key activities because that prioritizes actions that are the most essential to fulfilling the primary purpose. It circles back to the fact that if everything is important, then nothing is.
Key performance indicators are quantifiable metrics that fairly and accurately track the success of a job function. The post as a whole is designed to be a management tool and is best used to manage a persons performance. KPIs provide management with numbers that will help them assess performance, which removes emotions from the task of managing individuals or teams. Too many managers make decisions based on how they feel about a situation versus looking at what the numbers are telling. Performance measurements help to remove the emotional aspect and allow for better decision making for the organization.
A growing concern in nonprofits around the world is the leadership gap that exists between levels in the organizational hierarchy. Many large nonprofits are not ready to handle the massive amount of senior leaders that will be retiring in the next five to 10 years. To combat the growing gap in talent within nonprofits many organizations are using posts that outline training requirements. The posts (with the training requirements) help employees and managers be clear on the training and development that needs to take place while someone holds a particular post.