What is Great Role Clarity?

Having great clarity about one’s role is critical. Without absolute role clarity, an employee may not be fully productive and effective. Poor role clarity can make employees feel like ‘headless-chickens’. Often I come across teams where role clarity is not highly rated in employee surveys. And often managers say something to the effect of “What low role clarity? They have their job descriptions and I told them what to work on!”

Of course, many of us have formal job descriptions and understand the roles we play. But, what is great role clarity? How can managers do a fantastic job of explaining a role? Here is what I have learnt from my experiences and from people I have worked with:

  • Instead of merely explaining the role blandly, great managers also explain the “why” behind the key deliverables of a role. They help to connect the role to the larger purpose.
  • Great managers not only explain the job description, but also clarify the operational requirements and challenges of the role.
  • Great role clarity comes from not only understanding the expectations of the manager, but also of other team members.
  • Great managers not only explain the performance metrics, but also help the employees interpret the metrics and relate them to team / organizational goals.
  • Employees with great role clarity not only know what to deliver, but they also understand how to prioritize what to deliver.

What has been your experience? How are you ensuring that your team members are clear about their roles?

5 thoughts on “What is Great Role Clarity?

  1. Pingback: Of role clarity… and job descriptions!! « intellinut

  2. As always, good one! In addition, if I may add:

    Explain the process thus:

    Input – What information/resource/material is an input to this role. Who does that input come from.
    Process – What does this role have to do to the input in order to process it. What are the key definitions/boundaries of the process
    Output – What is considered quality output of this role. What form does the output take? Who all receive this output?

    Hope this helps!


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