University Human Resources
Determine Major Job Duties
The first step in the process is to determine the major duties of the job. Major job duties are those job specific duties that are essential to a specified job. These are the duties that the job was really established to perform, and if they were not performed would severely impact the nature of the job. They are distinct from marginal functions, which are peripheral to the core duties.
Resources to help you identify major job duties:
- The Position Description on file in each unit
- Job Specifications on the University Human Resources or specific campus web site
- A recent job posting for that position
Some things to consider in determining and prioritizing major job duties:
- What are the primary responsibilities of the position?
- What duties are critical to the job?
- What duties are sufficiently important to overall success such that performance below standard would result in unacceptable overall performance?
- What percentage of time is spent on the duty?
A main purpose of a Performance Management Plan is to increase two-way communication between supervisor and employees regarding the job itself. This is best done when the process of determining major job duties is done collaboratively between supervisor and employee. This allows for differing perceptions of responsibilities, priorities, etc. to be addressed and clarified. Of course, it is the role of the supervisor to ultimately define the job.