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2. Create effective roles and fill them with good people

Key ideas

  • Effectively designed roles filled with capable people are the foundation to building a successful team. It is the first step in building a strong manager-employee relationship.


One of the most common causes of poor performance, organisational conflict and failure to deliver business outcomes is poor role design. Poor or incomplete definition of the work content of a role, unclear relationships between roles, overlapping work boundaries or inappropriate authority cause confusion and uncertainty. This will ultimately result in poor performance and poor morale.

Well designed roles, with clear accountabilities and role relationships, with appropriate authorities, provide clear rules for engagement and enables focused thinking on the work to be done. It enables people to work together productively towards business goals.
Once designed, the next step is to fill the role with a person who has the individual capability to perform the role. This means the person must not only have the required knowledge, skills and experience, but they must also have the level of work ability required to perform the complexity of tasks in the role. They must also value the work and be free of a personal, disabling temperament.Performance management sequence of work of role, select, induct, assign, assess, reward and develop

Creating a role and selecting a person for that role are the first two steps of the performance management sequence of work. Each part of this sequence has a different emphasis with the same goal of having roles filled with people who can do the work of the role effectively. When done well, it allows team members to be effective and be satisfied with their work. It helps build strong manager-employee working relationships.

Selecting a person for that role is part of a manager's VAR3I authorities. These authorities, like all others, must be exercised within the boundaries of the organisation's policies, procedures and values.

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Access member downloads for Create effective roles and fill them with good people including:

  • Designing effective roles
  • Recording the role design
  • Resourcing options
  • Selecting the right person for a role
  • Tools and resources - Sample position description template
  • Tools and resources - Matching a person to a role

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