Workers' Compensation (WC) Insurance is required for almost every employer in nearly every state, including Pennsylvania. WC provides wage-loss and medical benefits to employees injured on the job and reduces employer litigation costs. However, no employer wants to pay more for WC insurance than necessary, so savvy businesses are always on the lookout for ways to lower WC costs.
Good job descriptions can lower Workers' Comp and other operating costs, but sadly, many businesses have inadequate or no written job descriptions.
What is a Good Job Description?
"A job description is a tool that explains the tasks, duties, function, and responsibilities of a position," according to Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM). "It details who performs a specific type of work, how that work is to be completed, and the frequency and the purpose of the work as it relates to the organization's mission and goals."
HR experts suggest that all job descriptions include the following elements:
- Heading Information – job title, pay range, reporting relationship, hours, and likelihood of overtime or weekend work
- Summary of Objectives of the Job – general responsibilities, essential tasks, expected results
- Qualifications – education, experience, training, technical skills
- Physical Requirements (essential for lowering WC costs) – Is heavy lifting required? Are there long periods of standing? Does the job require climbing? Is driving a part of the job? Are specific body parts taxed more than others?
- Job Duties and Responsibilities – what tasks need to be performed and accomplished
SHRM recommends the following steps to create a good job description:
- Perform a Job Analysis
- Establish the Essential Functions
- Organize the Data Concisely
- Add the Disclaimer
- Add the Signature Lines
Why Are Good Job Descriptions Helpful?
No law requires employers to create job descriptions, but they can be extremely useful for the following:
- Recruiting and hiring purposes – A detailed job description will attract candidates with the right qualifications to perform the job, limiting the number of applicants and saving you time.
- Determining salaries – When job requirements are laid out – education, training, certification, physical requirements, etc., it's easier to determine appropriate compensation.
- Conducting performance reviews – A detailed job description provides a gauge managers can use to evaluate an employee's performance.
- Mitigating risk and limiting liability – An accurate and updated job description can become a helpful legal document if an employee files a lawsuit against you.
- Exempt vs. non-exempt – A job description can help justify an employee's exemption status under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Lowering Workers' Compensation costs – Correctly matching a worker's physical abilities to the physical demands of a job can decrease the risk of an injury and a resulting WC claim. Fewer claims mean lower WC premiums. Also, a detailed job description is an essential tool for a physician who is determining whether an injured worker is capable of returning to work in either a full or modified capacity. Studies have shown that getting an injured employee back to work as quickly and safely as possible is the best approach for both the employee and the company because claims are resolved more quickly; administrative costs, overtime pay, absenteeism, lawsuits, and staff turnover are reduced; productivity, employee morale, and employee relations are improved.
Do You Want to Lower Your Workers' Compensation Costs?
At American Insuring Group, we offer cost-effective Workers' Comp insurance from various competing insurance companies. We work diligently to ensure you receive the best price on quality insurance that protects your employees and your business.
Ready to save? Call us today at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or connect with us online!