Creating a Job Plan Using a Sample Template Is Easy

Job Plans Are Employee Owned Job Descriptions and Goals

Business people talking about their individually created job plans.
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Need an employee and company friendly way to keep employee job descriptionsgoals, and plans up-to-date without Human Resources intervention? Consider writing a job plan as an alternative to the traditional, normally not up-to-date, lengthy job description. 

Owned by the employee, in conjunction with and negotiated with his or her manager, the job plan solves the most frequent problems organizations experience with job descriptions. Similar to a job profile but with more detail, the job plan clearly defines the employee's job. 

Advantages of an Employee-Led Job Plan

An employee-led job plan is always up-to-date, is descriptive of the job the employee is actually doing, and is owned by and important to the employee. The job plan is an improvement over an HR written job description that is usually out-of-date, tough to maintain, and a document that employees don't own and use as a guide.

The written job plan will guide an employee's use of his or her work time and inform the employee of the priorities and needed outcomes. The job plan, done well, emphasizes an employee's most significant goals and expectations. You can use a job plan to assess an employee's progress on goals and core responsibilities.

It makes a useful starting discussion point during weekly one-to-one meetings and in any meeting to discuss setting goals, planning the future, or desired changes to an employee's job. 

Since the job plan is negotiated with the manager, he or she feels involved and committed, too.

How to Develop the Job Plan

Managers work with employees to make sure that every employee has an individually developed job plan. The document is maintained and updated as necessary by the employee with the concurrence of the employee’s manager.

The document lists the employee’s responsibilities and the core job functions, goals, and expectations for performance. It is the employee’s responsibility to execute the job plan with management support and agreement.

Managers work with employees to ensure that employees have appropriate elements of their company's mission, goals, objectives, and guiding principles in their job plans. Managers also work with employees to ensure that regular performance discussions and feedback are occurring relative to the core functions, job expectations, and goals in the job plan.

Managers work with employees to ensure that each employee has appropriate stretch goals that serve both the company and the employee in place in their job plan.

Group Job Plan

In developing the job plan, employees who have the same job with similar responsibilities will work as a team to develop the job plan for the job with the assistance and concurrence of their managers. In the instance of a group-developed job plan, each employee might also expect to have individual goals, that are specific to his or her position.

In addition to these core responsibilities, activities, and functions that were agreed upon as a group, these additional expectations also define the scope and expectations of the individual's job. When an employee is performing core job plan functions and responsibilities and meeting job plan goals, the employee is making a solid contribution to his or her organization.

Overall Approach to the Job Plan

The employee who is doing the job takes the lead in writing the job plan using the following job plan format as a template. The goals and plans that become the final document are negotiated with the employee's manager or supervisor.

Progress should be reviewed periodically with the manager and success on the job plan and goals should affect compensation decisions.

Unlike performance development planning, which is for employee development, the job plan measures progress toward goal accomplishment. The job plan provides clear expectations for employee performance.

This guarantees that the employee and the manager are on the same page and share meaning on the employee's performance expectations. This is a positive, powerful way to make sure that employees are focused on producing what the organization most needs from them.

Job Plan Sample Template

This is a template for an employee developed and owned job plan. You can customize, copy, and use this job plan template as your employees develop their own job plans. If the same job is held by more than one employee, all employees, or a cross-sectional group of employees, should develop the job plan together.

Overall Approach to Developing the Job Plan

In developing the job plan, these steps are recommended.

  • The manager and the employee should agree upon and write the position overview.
  • The manager and the employee should work together and agree on the major areas of responsibility.
  • The employee can wordsmith and further develop the major areas of responsibility.
  • The employee takes a first stab at developing the fleshed out descriptive goal statements that define the specific core functions and responsibilities of each major area of responsibility.
  • The manager and the employee review and refine the employee's first stab at the spelled out major areas of responsibility.
  • The manager and the employee define the goals for the period of time before the progress review. A six-month review of goals and the job plan is recommended. A quarterly or more frequent review is preferred.
  • A periodic review of the job plan is not a substitute for weekly one-on-one meetings between an employee and his or her manager. At this weekly meeting, regular review of goals, progress, and needed support on current goals and projects is reviewed.

Job Title and Position Overview

Write a short description of what the position does within your organization. Example: The marketing manager directs, manages, and leads the overall provision of customer-focused marketing services and programs and guides and provides direction to the marketing staff.

Major Areas of Responsibility

Use bullet points to list the five-eight major areas of responsibility you have in your job. For example, a human resources manager might list responsibilities that include these. Major areas of responsibility include:

  • Develop a superior workforce through effective employee recruitment, onboarding, development, and training
  • Develop the human resources department to best serve customers
  • Advise managers about issues related to managing people and the organization
  • Design performance management and improvement systems
  • Address organization development issues and needs
  • Devise reward, recognition, and compensation systems
  • Provide oversight to employment law requirements and compliance to regulatory concerns
  • Develop policies and documentation that foster a harmonious, empowering, teamwork-oriented, accountable workforce

Specific Responsibilities of the Job

Take each of the items listed in the Major Areas of Responsibility and provide details and actionable goals. Start by using the listed major area of responsibility and add the details necessary to make job expectations and products or outcomes clear in each major area of responsibility. For example, an HR manager might detail a responsibility, Development of the Human Resources Department, like this:

Take each of the items listed in the Major Areas of Responsibility and provide details and actionable goals. Start by using the listed major area of responsibility and add the details necessary to make job expectations and products or outcomes clear in each major area of responsibility. For example, an HR manager might detail a responsibility, Development of the Human Resources Department, like this:

Development of the Human Resources Department

  • Oversees the implementation of Human Resources programs through Human Resources staff. Monitors administration to established standards and procedures. Identifies opportunities for improvement and resolves any discrepancies.
  • Oversees and manages the work of reporting Human Resources staff. Encourages the ongoing development of the Human Resources staff.
  • Develops and monitors an annual budget that includes Human Resources services, employee recognition, sports teams support, company philanthropic giving, and administration.
  • Selects and supervises Human Resources consultants, attorneys, and training specialists, and coordinates company use of insurance brokers, insurance carriers, pension administrators, and other outside sources.
  • Conducts a continuing study of all Human Resources policies, programs, and practices to keep management informed of new developments.
  • Leads the development of department goals, objectives, and systems.
  • Establishes departmental measurements that support the accomplishment of the company's strategic goals.
  • Directs the preparation and maintenance of such reports as are necessary to carry out the functions of the department. Prepares periodic reports for management, as necessary or requested, to track strategic goal accomplishment.

Specific Goals Related to Responsibilities

Employees should list their main goals related to the specific areas of responsibility detailed above. These goals would cover whatever time period the organization determines for consistency.


This job plan is intended to convey information essential to understanding the scope of the job and the general nature and level of work performed by the employee holding this job. But, this job plan is not intended to be an exhaustive list of qualifications, skills, efforts, duties, responsibilities, or working conditions associated with the position. That is the realm of the job description.

Please note that the information provided, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality. The site is read by a worldwide audience as employment laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country. Please seek legal assistance, or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources, to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct for your location. This information is for guidance, ideas, and assistance.