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POPin Blog

3 Ways to Clarify Role Confusion in Your Organization

We all know what happens when everybody thinks somebody’s responsible for a certain task – nobody ends up doing it. Poorly defined roles can lead to stress, conflict, and failure in the workplace. If your company’s objectives are not met despite everyone pulling their weight, role clarification could be the solution.

Vital Steps Towards Role Clarification in Your Business

Don’t assume that everybody knows what their tasks and responsibilities are. Try this simple exercise to find out if that’s the case:
  • Get hold of a whiteboard
  • Draw columns on the board for each task involved in a specific project or those related to daily responsibilities
  • Get everyone to write down their areas of responsibility on a sticky note
  • Allocate each sticky note to a column
  • Be amazed at the blank columns
Without fail, this exercise always reveals gaping holes in what employees’ perceptions are versus your expectations of them. Here’s how to avoid these gaps in your team’s performance.

1. Communicate Clearly

Effective communication is the first step towards improving productivity. Call a meeting for each new project and define the tasks involved and expected outcomes. Assign part of the work to each specific team member. This can also reveal areas where individual employees are spread too thin. Explain each task to the responsible person and outline what’s involved. Check that they understand what you expect from them.

2. Provide Goals

Chances are that some tasks are interrelated. Work backward to set up deadlines for completion of each stage. Here’s a simple example. If your web designer needs copy to do their portion of the work, the copywriter needs to complete their tasks far enough in advance to allow for this. Likewise, if the copywriter needs figures from the sales team first, this information must arrive on time, and so on. Goals help staff members to understand their exact responsibilities and clarify any confusion.

3. Provide Regular Feedback

Your project manager must understand that it’s their job to check in with employees often to ensure they can deliver. It’s your job as the business owner to follow up with them daily to see that things are on track. Apart from progress checks, regular meetings to ensure that role confusion hasn’t crept in are imperative. One or more employees may be encroaching in others’ areas of responsibility. If this is the case, hold another get-together to redefine each team member’s role. Feedback is imperative at every stage and shouldn’t end when the project is complete either. Keeping the team updated on successful outcomes or areas for improvement will help to keep them motivated.

New Employees

Role confusion often raises its head when a new team member is brought on board. It is vital to explain where this new person fits in right at the outset. Describe their tasks and explain how these affect everyone else’s responsibilities. If you have hired someone to assist with another employee’s tasks, define how the work will be split from the start.

The Ultimate Solution for Avoiding Confusion

From the above, it’s clear that communication is the answer to role clarification issues. If you are looking for more simple solutions to everyday issues in your business, keep reading our blog for useful advice. Our product is geared towards harnessing communication to help align your teams’ objectives. We’ll even let you try it out for free.