Clarifying Roles

Role clarification can do two things: (a) Better define roles to motivate and incentivize employees on their daily tasks. (b) Reduce one of the more common sources of conflicts affecting team members.


To define roles and reduce team conflict when working on larger projects involving multiple people.

What is Clarifying Roles?

Role clarification is the process of assigning tasks and clearly defining them for both individual and group projects. This can occur for projects in the regular course of business and/or during times of restructuring or promotion when jobs and roles change.

How does Clarifying Roles improve employee engagement?

Besides personalities, the clarity, or lack of clarity, of assigned roles can be one of the greatest sources of frustration for employees. Employee engagement in a role, with other members, can wane if duties are not clearly defined. Better definition and re-evaluations over time, to make sure everyone has their assigned tasks, keeps employees motivated and better able to problem-solve with each other.

What are the benefits?

  1. Less frustration

  2. Engagement and motivation

  3. Ability to stay focused on the project at hand

  4. Work better as a team

  5. Increased job satisfaction

  6. Less turnover

How do you Clarifying Roles in the workplace?

Role clarification is not a static endeavour. Conducting annual (or regular, depending on the role) job analysis for all employees will allow HR to see what is working and how roles can naturally change over time. Also, communication is very important. When roles change or need to change, it is important that everyone is made aware as soon as possible so there are no disruptions or misunderstandings. Encourage your teams to ask questions about their roles and meet with them to understand if there is overlap, or if new issues have come up.


Clarify Roles in The Workplace

  1. Identify roles: Ensure HR has a formal job description in place for each employee or group of employees.

  2. Communicate: Whether they are new hires, teams assigned to a project or new promotions/restructuring, provide regular communications with employees to make sure they understand their tasks.

  3. Get manager buy-in: Managers are often the ones dealing with the frustration of employees. Make sure managers know and speak to their direct reports about their roles.

  4. Conduct regular audits: The timing will differ depending on the project or tasks but make sure to regularly conduct job analysis on roles and tasks.

  5. Get feedback: Employees on the frontlines will know how tasks and roles change or morph likely before anyone else. Encourage bottom-up communication for a better understanding of how roles are changing.

Reference Material

The Importance of Role Clarity Role clarification for Teams

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