Job Design – Meaning, Steps, and its Benefits

Also known as a task or “Job Design is a function of the human resource department of any organization in ensuring that all rules of every job are detailed clearly”. Besides, to satisfy every employee of the organization in terms of job allocation. This process is done to meet a company’s requirements and set goals concerning all jobs.

According to Michael Armstrong, “Job Design is the process of deciding on the contents of a job in terms of its duties and responsibilities, on the methods to be used in carrying out the job, in terms of techniques, systems and procedures, and on the relationships that should exist between the job holder and his superior subordinates and colleagues.”

The implementation of job design in organizations is to improve the following things.

  1. The quality of services provision
  2. To satisfy every employee
  3. Decrease the challenges that face employees such as allowances or not coming to work.
  4. Increase product production in a company

Therefore, for a company or organization to fully achieve all its set target by ensuring all policies as per jobs is well stipulated. Additionally. It should ensure the incorporation of job design is done by their HR departments. One of the importance of job design to make work enjoyable for the employees.

Main Jobs Features

There are five main job features or characteristics that it should have. They include:

  1. Skill Variety
  2. Task Variety
  3. Task Significance
  4. Autonomy
  5. Feedback

To no more details about the above features, I will discuss them further.

1. Skill Variety

Every job in an organization has its sets of skills. This means if you are an employee you should have the necessary skills to perform that work efficiently. In case you are given a certain task that you don’t have the recommended skills to perform it will be a stress for you. Therefore, skills are very essential in job performance.

2. Task Variety

If you are an employee you always enjoy it when you are part of a company’s project from its commencement to when it is finalized. You will be discouraged if you do work halfway and you are replaced by a new employee. Both of you will not be pleased.

3. Task Significance

This means that how a certain job is important or brings a difference to an organization. For example, if you are doing a certain job and bring more income to a company you are sure to be honored as employees.

4. Autonomy

The ability for employees to decide on their makes work more enjoyable and satisfactory. Dictating and employees increase frustration and one questions him or herself about their ability in performing the job described.

5. Feedback

To increase the productivity of a company you need workers to be competitive. This can be achieved by giving feedback individually or according to departments. This will motivate workers to work more efficiently. Furthermore, you can show your workers how customers rate products or services from your organization. This is also another factor to improve productivity.

The above five features make workers believe that their work is more important, productive, people acknowledge their work.

Methods of Job Design

There are four main methods of job design. They comprise of:

1. Job Rotation 

2. Job Enrichment 

3. Job Enlargement

4. Work Simplification

I will discuss each of the above in detail and state their advantages and perhaps some of their disadvantages.

1. Job Rotation

This method is used in organizations to enable employees to have vast ability to work in different departments or areas. A worker can gain skills of different which makes him or her flexible in the organization.

Advantages

  • Increases productivity
  • Motivates the employee
  • The performance of the organization rises
  • Improves the skills, attitude, and abilities of workers
  • Employees don’t strain so much

Disadvantages

  • Workers become anxious
  • Employees may not have a main skill due to job rotation

However, this technique makes employees competitive in different areas which will boost the organization’s output.

2. Job Enrichment

This is another method of job design where a company gives its employees new roles in the organization intending to ensure work is interesting and improving on skills and expertise of different workers. This also comes with additional pay for the work done. This job design method helps workers to work more effectively as they know their tasks.

Advantages

  • Employees improve on different or new work skills
  • Work becomes enjoyable
  • The company’s productivity grows
  • Additional responsibilities hence boredom reduction
  • Motivates workers to work hard
  • Workers can make decisions on their own

Disadvantages

  • Work may become more leading to poor results
  • Others workers may not agree with this technique which will cause disagreement between workers
  • Employees may be unprepared for this technique

For your workers to become more loyal and more efficient you can use this method and you will see how your company improves gradually.

3. Job Enlargement

The addition of jobs at the same level in your company is known as job enlargement. Your employer may decide to add your work in your specific job area. This is also called the horizontal expansion of job activities. This type of job design makes an employee to do the extra job which goes beyond their expertise. This leads to non-division of labor and an employee does jobs that they have not specialized in.

However, before the implementation of this job design method employees are usually trained to perform different duties in their job level. Nevertheless, some duties may not require training and an employee can perform them even when they don’t have skills.

Advantages

  • Increase in pay. With additional duties, an employee receives an additional salary
  • The cost of employing more employees will reduce as current workers can do more duties.
  • Increases skill level of employees.

Disadvantages

  • Workers may become dissatisfied after a period
  • Cost of training employees is high

This technique has been described as good by Hulin and Blood. They said, “Job Enlargement enables employees to perform duties with their timing. Also, to be their supervisors when doing work. Furthermore, employees can undo their mistakes.”

4. Work or Job Simplification

This is an additional job design method where an organization makes the job easy, simple, and fast for its employees. This method is applied to achieve the performance of many duties in a short period.

Advantages

  • Employees are not overworked
  • Less time in performing duties
  • Less cost of training
  • Employees become more efficient

Disadvantages

  • Dissatisfaction because work is repetitive
  • Workers are not able to learn new skills
  • Employees are not able to decide by themselves

What Issues Affect Job Design?

Three main issues affect job design.

  1. Environmental
  2. Organizational
  3. Behavioral

The above make job design challenging to most organizations. I will go deeper into each factor and how it affects job design.

1. Environmental

These factors consist of both internal and external factors that employees undergo in job design. The internal factors consist of the skills and expertise of an employee. When designing a job for an employee some duties cannot be done well due to low skill levels which will reduce the organization’s productivity. Some of the external factors are such as employees are not able to accept doing certain jobs that they are not comfortable with.

2. Organizational

Every organization has its culture. This heavily affects the way job design is put into effect in a company. Such norms make job design hard to work effectively. Other things that make job design unfunctional include:

  • Flow of work
  • Nature of work
  • Ergonomics

4. Behavioral

Not to repeat behavioral factors are like main job features. So, you can read about the main job features to know more about behavioral factors.

Benefits of Job Design

  • Employees gain new skills
  • Quality of time spent on each job is well stipulated as per job design
  • Workers can adjust to make work more efficient.
  • As an employer, you can easily supervise your employees
  • It is easy to meet your company’s targets
  • Employees have a good relationship. As they are contented with their job.

Sonia Kukreja

I am a mother of a lovely kid, and an avid fan technology, computing and management related topics. I hold a degree in MBA from well known management college in India. After completing my post graduation I thought to start a website where I can share management related concepts with rest of the people.
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