Rounding Out a Job Description
The actual scope of a job is more than the tasks we perform every day. Especially for those of us whose positions center on interpersonal relationships, there are added responsibilities that are less tangible. Sometimes, these responsibilities can be more important than our daily tasks – and they require soft skills.
In a recent study of nurse managers, 80 percent reported that they seek new hires with informatics, communication, and leadership skills. In the same study, 98 percent of practicing nurses reported a desire for more education and training in these areas. Of this new data, Sheryl Sommer, director of nursing education and curriculum at ATI Nursing Education, said “Nurses require a special set of skills to provide safe, quality nursing care. While historically not the focus of nursing education programs, skills such as communication are critical to improving provider outcomes, lowering healthcare costs and improving the patient experience.”
It’s clear that even jobs heavy on technical skills, like nursing, require additional training and education. When taking on a role with added interpersonal responsibilities – particularly a leadership role – there is a lot to consider when redefining our position. It can be a real challenge to take on and adapt to a new job description. When considering what’s involved in an elevated position, leadership expert and HRDQ author Kevin Eikenberry explains,
“There is one job description and one title, but the role is more complex than that…
[A person in a supervisory role] will have management responsibilities. These generally include…forecasting, planning, budgeting, monitoring, and managing processes; and communication around these important activities….
[They] will have leadership responsibilities, too. [They] will be coaching others, facilitating meetings, influencing others both in and outside of [their] group. [They] will have goal setting responsibilities and will be expected to engage [their] team successfully – so that they get great results.
Admittedly, these two roles (management and leadership) are interconnected, yet they are fundamentally separate, too. One role is focused on resources and things, the other on people and helping them succeed.
…this still isn’t [their full job]. …[Few people] are full-time managers/leaders (regardless of what the job description says); [they] still have other work to do, too. It is likely they still have responsibilities more closely connected to [their] past comfort level and expertise.”
He’s created a 3-sector venn diagram to illustrate the many roles of an individual in a leadership position:
Even prepared with the most thorough of job descriptions, new leaders need additional skills to adapt to a change in responsibilities and goals. Kevin’s training series, Remarkable Leadership, is an all-encompassing guide to integrating the soft skills needed for leadership and management with the hard skills of any technical position. Make sure your new leaders are prepared to round out their job description with HRDQ leadership resources!