What is the purpose of a role description?

Role descriptions create the clarity, alignment, and performance framework for each role.

The purpose of a role description is essential to effective organizational management.

A role description in Waymaker will outline the following details. 

  1. Role name.
  2. Role purpose.
  3. Goals & outcomes framework. This will show what the role should be achieving and delivering on an annual basis. Outcomes will not have specific numbers reference the metrics for focus. 
  4. Key tasks and responsibilities. This will show the activity or taks, the outcome this task relates to, why it matters, and any links to standard operating procedures or policies within a Waymaker Playbook. 
  5. Skills and systems required for this role. This table the skills competency and systems capability requirements for this role, the expectation of each, and why it matters. 
  6. Principles & behaviors. This section of the role description will take the values of the organization and translate them into principles and expected behaviors of this role based on these common values. 
  7. Leadership & management framework. This section will outcome the expectations of the role in reports, meetings, or learning and development. A team member should have clarity in what is expected in these areas and it covers the activity, cadence, activity owner, the roles involved, and an explanation of why. 


Good role descriptions are essential to organization alignment. They provide: 

  1. Clarity and understanding: Role descriptions provide clarity on the specific responsibilities, tasks, and expectations associated with a particular role within the organization. They help employees understand their role within the broader context of the organization's goals and outcomes.

  2. Role alignment: Role descriptions ensure that each role within the organization is aligned with its overall vision and strategic goals. By clearly defining roles, organizations can ensure that every employee contributes meaningfully to the achievement of organizational goals & outcomes.

  3. Performance management: Role descriptions serve as a basis for setting and then evaluating employee performance. They provide a benchmark against which employees' achievements and contributions can be measured, facilitating performance appraisals, feedback, and development discussions.

  4. Recruitment and selection: Role descriptions play a crucial role in the recruitment and selection process. They help attract suitable candidates by outlining the qualifications, skills, and experience required for the role. Additionally, role descriptions aid in the assessment of candidates' suitability during the selection process.

  5. Training and development: Role descriptions guide the development of training programs and learning initiatives tailored to the specific requirements of each role. They identify areas where employees may need additional skills or knowledge to excel in their roles, facilitating targeted development interventions.

  6. Communication and collaboration: Role descriptions foster effective communication and collaboration within teams and across departments. By clearly defining roles and responsibilities, they minimize ambiguity and confusion, promoting collaboration, coordination, and teamwork.

Role descriptions serve as a foundational tool for organizational effectiveness, performance optimization, and strategic alignment within the organization.