The workday begins at 8:00 a.m. in the Vigo County Tax & Municipal Services Office. You are the director and have a staff consisting of one receptionist, two information clerks, and one database administrator. Until recently the office operated smoothly with equitable workload distribution and well-defined responsibilities.
Over the last year or so, you’ve noticed more disagreements between the receptionist and the information clerks. After discussions with your employees, you determine that the problems stem from misunderstandings regarding responsibilities for particular duties. Strong discontent has developed because the receptionist feels that the information clerks have too much free time to socialize and run personal errands. Often the receptionist is left to do some of the duties of the information clerks. Additionally, the information clerks are occasionally left to work overtime to do some of the work that is in reality the responsibility of the database administrator. The information clerks complain that they should not have to take on these additional duties because it is not in their job descriptions and they are not getting paid the large salary of the database administrator.
Each person at the Vigo County Tax & Municipal Services Office has a general job description that was written several years ago. However the nature of their positions has changed over the years, especially with the installation of a new computer system. No attempt has been made to put these changes in writing. While you formerly held staff meetings to discuss problems that arose within the office, you haven’t held meetings for several months.
You need to take a look at the job descriptions and make some decisions.
Go to the following Bureau of Labor Statistics sites to examine the job descriptions for each staff person. Be sure to explore all areas on the site, especially: (1) “What They Do,” (2) “Duties,” (3) “More Info.” Look for “O*NET” and connect to the job on O*NET.
Occupational Outlook Handbook: Receptionists
Occupational Outlook Handbook: Information Clerks
Occupational Outlook Handbook: Database Administrators
- Discuss the difference and similarities among all 3 positions. (3 paragraphs)
- What actions do you recommend that the director take? (1 paragraph)
- Why do you think that job descriptions are not updated in many organizations? (1 paragraph)
- Briefly describe the purpose and functions of O*NET. (1 paragraph)
- Look up your current job (or a previous position you have held or a position you want in the future) on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
- Investigate your position on O*NET. You will find the link to O*NET by clicking on the More Info tab and scrolling to the bottom of the page.
- Compare your current (or previous or future) job description at work to what you found on these websites. How do they compare? Discuss your findings. (2 paragraphs)