How Misleading Job Descriptions Psychologically Affect Us!

How Misleading Job Descriptions Psychologically Affect Us!

Travis Furman
November 29 2016 - 04:53pm

Most of working people spend almost all of their time at work. Because of bad managers, they get to do things that have no value whatsoever.

The style of a report becomes more important than the content for example. Or your boss wants you to do things that have no relationship with professional life; you get to serve coffee at a meeting for instance.

Let's see how much does working like this affect people's happiness.

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1. People who do research on stress at work have saying for inappropriate or unnecessary work:

''Duties that are not included in job definition'.'

2. Science has an explanation for this situation:

Duties that are out of your job definition damages you.

3. Research shows that work like this has negative effects on workers' health and happiness.
  • Exhaustion, 

  • Unbalance between work and private life,

  • Job-related depression,

  • Increase in the stress cortisol hormone,

  • Decrease in personal satisfaction, quality of sleep, job satisfaction and self-esteem

are just some of them. These types of duties lead people to be unhappy at their work place.

4. When do these duties that are not in the job definition increase?

When duties at a company are assigned arbitrarily and unjustly, when decision makers act uncertain or inconsistent, and workers start competing because of these reasons.

5. Sometimes these unnecessary duties just happen because of lack of information.

For instance, when a manager doesn't know the report he/she wants is ready somewhere or that report is not necessary anymore. These kinds of decisions can be affected by a senior executive, for example, if the executive wants to seem productive, he/she might want to see that report.

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6. Sometimes they just do it out of bad intentions.

Like when a boss wants something really unnecessary to prove his/her strength or humiliate the worker.

7. The damage this kind of thing does to workers' psychology is not just these things.

Duties not included in job description make people angry, and workers might tend to damage the company or other workers.

People might start spreading rumors or start stealing things that belong to the company.

8. The main reason is managers who can't organize.

What can managers do to fix these situations? How can they be more careful?

9. Managers must know the true value of the work that the staff is doing.

He/she should move with the staff and should inspect each and every one of the workers' work periodically.

He/she should ask the workers how much time they've spent on the task and if it's suitable for the job description.

He/she should also learn what the return of each job is and if the workers feel what they do really adds value to business.

10. The manager should work with the staff to diminish the duties that are not included in the job description.

Push your staff to diminish or finish the jobs that are irrelevant or has no value. Increasing communication and having independence will help get rid of the unproductive process.

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11. A manager should know how to support the team.

The manager should protect the staff against organizational circumstances that demand them to duties that are not in the job description. 

He/she should support his/her team about the sources that are necessary for them to do their jobs and improve.

12. He should be careful with psychological agreements.

When he/she is explaining the job description to a potential worker, he/she should be clear. This will help the other party to have a clear understanding of the job description and give precise information on what is expected of the employee.

13. Besides the formal terms in business contracts, some additional clauses should be taken into consideration:

Instead of just asking ''What do we expect from an employee?'' they should also ask ''What do employees expect from us for this?

Workers should be supported to speak freely of their opinions. ''What do I expect from an employer?'' and ''What value do I think I can add?''

14. A manager should deeply think of his/her administrative attitude and his/her manners on feedback.

A manager should ask his/her team what behavior makes them motivated and what makes it difficult for them to do their jobs. Then, he/she should try to work on the supportive behaviors and try to get rid of the ones that are affecting the performance.

15. A manager should try to minimize the jobs that are out of the job description as much as possible.

Research shows that jobs that are not included in the job descriptions are so much that it seems impossible to get rid of all of them completely. But the less you have the better.

Because nobody who has respect for his/her job and workplace would want to waste his/her time and energy on things that are not worthwhile.

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Monique Valcour

Harvard Business Review 

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