Defining Responsibilities in Business: An Overview

Clear expectations are important in any workplace. Employees understanding their roles and responsibilities within your company can greatly contribute to meeting short- and long-term goals. Read further to learn more about what responsibility in the workplace entails, its benefits and a few ways you can promote responsibility among your employees.


Quick Navigation


Post a Job

Are you a job seeker? Find jobs.

What is responsibility in the workplace?

In the workplace, responsibility refers to the degree to which your employees understand their roles and how their specific job duties contribute to the success of the company. It’s the duty of the employer and those in leadership roles to make those responsibilities known to employees.


Benefits of defining roles and responsibilities in the workplace

Here is a list of some of the benefits of defining roles and responsibilities in the workplace:


Helping create clear job descriptions that lead to the right candidates

Having a comprehensive understanding of the roles already in your organization can help you create job descriptions for new roles. A job description that clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities that a position requires can help you hire the right candidate for the job. For example, if you include public speaking at weekly meetings as a required responsibility for the position of a finance manager, then you can ensure that those who apply for the position understand and have a degree of public speaking experience.


Preventing redundancy among job roles

By setting clear job duties and roles for each of your employees, you might prevent one or more roles overlapping in their responsibilities. For example, if your marketing team consists of multiple employees in different positions yet similar job duties, delegate tasks and clearly differentiate who is responsible for what.


Creating a sense of accountability

When an employee understands their role and responsibilities within a department or organization as a whole, this typically creates a sense of accountability to meet deadlines and complete the job duties with other employees in mind. For example, telling accountants the HR department’s deadlines for uploading paystubs can help ensure that accountants calculate pay stubs ahead of the deadline.


Promoting teamwork and collaboration

By separating roles and responsibilities among team members, you can potentially promote a work environment where employees learn to rely on one another to complete a project or task. This may help your employees develop a sense of community with their coworkers and unify your company.


Enhancing productivity and efficiency

Overall, if your employees have a clear understanding of their place within your company, this can contribute to less confusion, fewer errors and better job satisfaction. These factors combined can help elevate your company’s productivity and efficiency.


How to define responsibilities in the workplace

Use the following steps as a guide to help you define responsibilities in the workplace for heightened productivity and teamwork:


1. Gauge your employees’ sense of clarity toward their responsibilities

To help assess your employees’ understanding of their roles and responsibilities within the company, give them one or more ways to provide feedback for you to review. For example, you may hold a meeting with each individual department to determine if one or more departments need more defined roles. You may also send out a survey for your employees to complete, asking them to outline any vague or shared responsibilities they encounter.


2. Review the job descriptions you used to hire employees

You can also review the job descriptions you used to attract the employees to the roles they’re in now. You may realize that one or more roles and responsibilities you included in that listing don’t actually apply to that position, or you might realize that the job description only provides a vague description of the position’s responsibilities within the company.


3. List your company’s current responsibilities

Make a list of your company’s current responsibilities to compare to the current roles and responsibilities of each employee. For example, if you determine that your sales and marketing department needs to accumulate an average of 30 sales per day, pull market campaign data at the end of each week and create a new marketing.advertising idea each month, then you can take that list and delegate work to individual roles within the department.


4. Determine where each employee can contribute the most

Meet with department heads to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each member of their department. From this, you may discover redundant roles or multiple roles that share the same task. This may allow you to create new roles within the department to maximize your employees’ potential and your company’s overall productivity.


5. Meet with employees individually and all together for further discussions

Before you decide to make changes to an employee’s role and responsibilities, be sure to meet with them to see how they feel. You can also use this as an opportunity to outline their new, distinct job responsibilities and how they will relate to the rest of the department and company as a whole.


6. Revise as needed to help employees find the right roles

You might have to revise the new roles and responsibilities within your company to accommodate your employees’ needs. For example, if you give your accounting manager the responsibility of overseeing the department, approving financial documents and creating a financial strategy for the company, but your accounting manager cannot devote time to developing a financial strategy, you may decide to take on that responsibility or look to hire a financial planner.

Ready to get started? Post a Job

*Indeed provides this information as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your career or legal advisor, and none of the information provided herein guarantees a job offer.