What is a roles and responsibilities template?
A roles and responsibilities template is used to create documents that outline the job description, duties and requirements of a specific position at your business. These documents are often used in team settings to differentiate between the roles of each team member and establish a hierarchy of roles to show supervisory relationships. They help team members understand who handles each part of the project to avoid confusion.
You can choose to post the documents formulated on roles and responsibilities templates on your company’s website and other job websites to help you attract qualified applicants. They’re also useful to have when training a new employee or making changes to a department. When you complete a duties and responsibilities form for a team, keep the chart handy throughout the project for reference.
Here are a few things to include in a roles and responsibilities template:
- Job title
- Job description
- List of responsibilities
- Job qualifications and requirements
- Who this position reports to
Benefits of defining roles and responsibilities
Defining roles and responsibilities for your employees offers several benefits, including:
- Task delegation: Having clear roles and responsibilities ensures all tasks are delegated efficiently.
- Task completion: Assigning task completion ensures all required tasks get done without confusion over who should do them, which can prevent things from falling through the cracks. This can increase the team’s success on major projects.
- Improved collaboration: Clear roles and responsibilities allow for greater cooperation when there’s no conflict over who does what. Team roles are well-defined, so everyone understands how they work together and what to expect from their teammates.
- Greater efficiency: Employees can work more efficiently when there’s less time wasted on disagreements over roles or trying to figure out who should do tasks.
- New hire expectations: A roles and responsibilities template establishes clear expectations for new hires to make the transition easier. A new team member can also refer to the document to see how the roles work together and where they can go for help with different tasks.
- Reduction in overlap: Your team has fewer redundancies by eliminating unnecessary overlap. This can make them more efficient.
- Improved hiring: You have clarity on what to look for in job candidates when you’re actively recruiting if you’ve defined clear roles and responsibilities. The roles and responsibilities template helps you spot gaps in skills to determine when you need to hire.
- Detailed job descriptions: When you have the roles and responsibilities clearly defined, you can use the chart to improve your job description template. Roles and responsibilities are a major part of job descriptions.
How to define roles and responsibilities
The most difficult part of completing roles and responsibilities templates is often clearly defining those elements. Collaborating with other managers and people who do those jobs can give you a better idea of what to include in the roles and responsibilities template. A team approach gives each person ownership over their tasks and helps team members better understand other roles.
Here is how to get the team involved in defining roles and responsibilities:
- Schedule a meeting with all team members in a conference space or virtual meeting space using your favorite video conferencing program. If you’re working virtually, use a shared whiteboard or similar tool to share information easily.
- List all of the roles within the team, but only add each role once, even if you have a number of people in that position. For example, if you have multiple software testers, list that position only once. However, if you have software testers and senior software testers, list those roles separately because they likely have some differences in responsibilities.
- Have each person write down their responsibilities in their role. They don’t need to include every little task they do, but they should hit the major responsibilities.
- Then, have them write down what they perceive as the responsibilities of the other roles on the team.
- Discuss each role and have everyone share what they think the responsibilities are for it. Start with the person or people in that role, so they can share what they understand they’re responsible for handling. Then, have others share what they think the responsibilities for that role are. Record all of the answers.
- Ask the person in that role if they agree or disagree with the ideas of others on the team. If the person in that role doesn’t agree with a responsibility, move it to an unassigned section for now.
- Look for overlap in the responsibilities. Determine if more than one role needs to handle the same responsibility. If not, determine who will handle it going forward. Assign a primary person if any responsibilities need to overlap. You can assign others as additional owners of the task or backup owners if the primary person can’t complete it.
- Look at gaps in who’s covering responsibilities. Consider if you can add the responsibility to a current role or if you need to add a position to the team.
- Use this information to complete the official roles and responsibilities template. It’s ultimately the responsibility of the manager to define the responsibilities for each role.
How to use a roles and responsibilities template
When using a roles and responsibilities template, you need to include information that helps everyone understand what each employee does and who they report to. By defining team roles, you can ensure every task is being taken care of and people understand their responsibilities.
When writing a roles and responsibilities template, be as specific about the role as possible. A manager’s roles and responsibilities will be different than an entry-level administrative assistant’s, so the template should reflect that. This helps candidates know exactly what they are applying to and helps other employees completely understand what this position is responsible for.
Here is how you can use a roles and responsibilities template:
1. Write a job description
In the job description section, write a brief paragraph or two that gives an overview of the job role. Include some key responsibilities, what a qualified candidate looks like and why the position is important for the company. Make this section easy to understand and include overall duties.
2. Include a list of responsibilities
In this section, get more specific with the duties and responsibilities of this job role. In a bullet point list, write down everything this position entails. Include programs the employee uses, who they collaborate with and what they do regularly. List these responsibilities in order of importance to emphasize the role’s essential duties.
3. Include job qualifications and requirements
If you’re using a roles and responsibilities template for a job posting, include the qualifications and requirements you want the applicants to have. These can consist of years of experience, level of education, additional certifications or licenses, skills, characteristics and physical ability.
4. Outline who this position reports to
This portion of a roles and responsibilities template is especially useful when you’re training a new employee. By laying out a hierarchy of positions, everyone can better understand who they report to and what each person is responsible for. This portion can also help employees plan their career paths and set goals for advancement.
Roles and responsibilities template
You should have a roles and responsibilities template ready to use when you want to create a new position or need to fill a current role. Thus, you can simply fill the template in without starting from scratch.
Here is a roles and responsibilities template to get you started:
Examples of roles and responsibility documents
Here are a few examples of a filled-in roles and responsibilities template:
Example 1: Customer service and sales manager
Job description: The customer service and sales manager is responsible for creating a welcoming atmosphere for all customers. They provide excellent customer service and assist customers with any inquiries they may have. Additionally, the customer service and sales manager keeps the storefront clean and orderly to maximize foot traffic and sales. Leading a team of sales associates is also a large part of the customer service and sales manager’s job.
- Lead a team of sales associates
- Provide quality customer service
- Create and coordinate sales associates’ schedules
- Facilitate tasks for the sales associates
- Keep the store looking clean and organized
- Handle cash and card transactions
- Do customer returns and exchanges following the company’s return policy
- High school diploma or GED
- Bachelor’s degree in management or equivalent area of study (highly desired, but not required)
- Two to three years of experience in a retail setting
- Friendly and upbeat personality
- Ability to work under pressure
- Problem-solving skills
- Conflict-resolution skills
- Ability to lift up to 50 pounds
Reports to: Director of Sales. Monthly meetings will be held to make sure the customer service and sales manager is achieving company objectives.
Example 2: Dog handler
Job description: The dog handler is responsible for overseeing that all the dogs at the dog day care facility are behaving appropriately. They engage with the dogs and lead basic dog training throughout their shift. The dog handler also cleans up any messes from the dogs and keeps the play yard cleared. They’re responsible for transporting the dogs to and from the cages and administering food, water and any necessary medication to the dogs.
- Overseeing the safety and behavior of dogs
- Leading basic dog training, including teaching dogs to sit, stay, lie down and come
- Cleaning up any messes from the dogs
- Transporting dogs to and from their cages
- Administering food, water and applicable medications to the dogs
- Occasionally checking dogs in at the front desk
- At least 16 years old
- A love for all kinds of dogs
- Patience for dog behaviors
- Basic knowledge of dog training
- Organizational skills
- Ability to lift up to 50 pounds
Reports to: Dog day care manager.
Example 3: Graphic designer
Job description: The graphic designer works with the rest of the creative team to develop advertising materials for our clients. They use Adobe software to design deliverables such as logos, brochures, print and digital advertisements, magazines and e-books. This individual should have a deep passion for design and always be looking for the latest graphic design trends and techniques.
- Create a wide variety of deliverables using Adobe Creative Cloud
- Work with the creative team to brainstorm innovative advertising campaigns
- Resize images using Adobe Photoshop
- Complete minor HTML/CSS coding as needed
- Research emerging design trends
- Attend an annual graphic design conference
- Bachelor’s degree in graphic design
- Knowledge of Adobe Creative Cloud
- Proficient in HTML/CSS
- Natural artistic ability and eye for design
- Three to five years of graphic design experience
- A solid portfolio of work
- Ability to work in an office setting all day
Reports to: Senior graphic designer for day-to-day inquires and creative director for big picture things.
Frequently asked questions
What should I consider when writing a position’s responsibilities?
Along with listing each job duty in order of importance, there are a few other things to keep in mind. First, always keep everything gender-neutral so people of all genders feel comfortable applying. Use the “they” pronoun or simply refer to the job title. For example, “The nurse provides care to patients.”
Use action words and keep everything in the present tense. Explain every aspect of the job. Include details such as who the employee will work with, what skills they’ll need and what programs or tools they’ll use to avoid role conflict for employees.
How do I write a job description that will attract applicants?
Write a job description that is friendly and upbeat. It’s okay to show a little personality, especially if your work has a very tight-knit work culture. Make your job description specific so people know exactly what they’re applying to.
Include key responsibilities and duties. If you need help determining these, ask current employees on this position’s team to help write the job description, and refer to the roles and responsibilities template. Create a sense of urgency to fill this position so applicants apply right away.
Should I include a salary or hourly pay in a job description?
If you’re using a roles and responsibilities template for your current employees to reference, there’s no need to include how much each position makes. If you’re using a roles and responsibilities template for a job posting, consider listing how much the position pays. Typically, employers list the pay for hourly jobs or jobs that have fewer requirements. For a salaried position, it’s less common to list the salary since this amount is often negotiated between the employer and the candidate.