Monday, June 29, 2015

The Destructiveness of Role Confusion

Role confusion in a job can be destructive. It creates confusion, resentment, inefficiency, and poor morale.

Have you ever worked in an organisation where role confusion is endemic?

Nobody seems to know who is responsible for what. Some people have insufficient work to keep them fully occupied while others have too much work. Some jobs that need doing aren't getting done, or different people do them in different ways.

Role confusion is caused by an organisation not:

  1. Identifying the jobs that need doing
  2. Deciding who will do them, when, how and why
  3. Creating job descriptions and operating procedures to cover all the work required
  4. Having clear chains of command
When I discussed role confusion with a friend recently, she told me that of the several senior managers who ran teams within the organisation, none appeared to have a clearly defined, complete role.

Thus, when she endeavours to get approvals for such things as purchasing, the "ball gets tossed from manager to manager."

The Solution

The solution is relatively simple. By carrying out the four steps above, you can eliminate role confusion.

When new staff members are engaged, they can be given access to operating procedures to work with until they become familiar with their roles.

Do you work in an organisation with role confusion? If so, what are you doing to improve your situation and that of your colleagues?


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