Job descriptions are good working tools to help with identifying, recruitment, training, deployment and monitoring future leaders. It is a great idea to involve as many people as possible into helping lead your housegroup: deputies, coordinators, hosts, worship leaders, journalists etc.
We find that job descriptions work well to ensure that everyone's expectations are roughly the same - sometimes someone takes on a role thinking it is one thing whilst you think it is something comepletely different.
The job descriptions all "start with the end in mind" - in other words, "if a great job is being done it will result in ...." When designing your own job descriptions spend some time thinking about the results you want to see. The job description should then be designed to lead toward that result. In other words, they shouldn't tell people what to do but what results you want to see.
The job description (we call it a PRS - personal responsibility statement) is made up of several parts:
The name of the role
- This is usually made up of two words - a noun for the event or activity and another noun/adjective which identifies the particular role. That's because the role is to do with an activity or event and just needs something to describe how it connects with that event. For example: housegroup (the event) leader (the particular role).
- The second word is the most important - "leader" is different from "coordinator" which is different from "supporter". They would have very different job descriptions because you would expect very different results from what that person did.
- Sometimes you might have a short sentence after it to explain a bit more about this particular job.
A list of results (KRAs - key result areas)
- The best job descriptions have between 3 and 5 KRAs - they are the seperate results you would like to see if this person does the job well.
- It is helpful to imagine these by starting with the words, "A great job is being done when .... there are good quality refreshments available every week...." So the phrase, "Good quality refreshments are available every week" becomes the KRA.
- The last KRA is usually something to do with recruiting someone to replace you. For example, "a great job is being done when you identify, recruit, train and deploy someone to replace you within 12 months." This builds in the expectation that the person won't do this forever and that they will replace themselves - and that that is a good thing!
Performance Standards (PSs)
- Try and identify a few measures by which you, and the person taking on the role, will know whether they are doing OK.
- This will cover things like timings, planning ahead, certain behaviours, what happens in certain circumstances.
- It is best to keep "tasks" or "lists" to a minimum. It works better if people work those out for themselves.
- You can give them suggestions and well established protocols in a seperate document.
- A comment to identify who supports whom. If things go wrong who do they turn to? If someone instructs them to do something what authority do they have to do so?
- We ask people to commit for a period of time. They can always get out earlier if they need to or can extend their service longer if they are enjoying themselves.
- Agreeing on a time commitment is crucial to matching your expectations with the person you are recruiting. If they are starting to serve thinking it is a short term arrangement - but in your mind they are going to be there for two years - you are heading for a difference of opinion in about 3 months' time!
- You will be surpirised how good people are at committing for a reasonable period of time.
- It is also very helpful for managing teams - you have advanced notice of when someone may be leaving a team.
The attached documents are simple samples for housegroups which will need adapting for your own purposes. We hope that you find them helpful.