Job design is the process of formation of structure to work activities. This is a systematic process of organizing specific job. It is thus, the logical sequence of job analysis which provides the job related data and skill requirement of the incumbent.
It is the management function of organizing tasks, duties and responsibilities into a unit of work. It helps to set the purpose, fix and task characteristics and duties. Job design is another words, can be defined as the integration of job content and the method of doing the job. This combines the qualification, skills and experience required for the job intrinsic and extrinsic rewards associated with job, and the basic relationship between organizational needs and employee needs.
Job design affects the productivity of employees and hence organization. Scientifically designed job becomes the basis of employee motivation. Poorly designed job decreases the productivity or organization as they discourage employees.
Job design is the subject matter to change. It may be affected by so many factors like job factors, organizational factors, behavioral factors, technological factors and environmental factors. So, it should be changed or modified from time to time.
The main purpose of job design is to increase the productivity of organization. Some of the major purpose of job design is to improve quality and quantity of goods/services, reduce operation costs and reduce turnover and training costs.
For our purpose, job design is the process of collecting job related information and grouping them in such a way that a manageable job can be created with sufficient motivational reward system. This prepares not only the job package but also the qualification, skills, experience and additional qualities required for the job. Job design, in this way, prepare the job description (What to do?), job specifications (what are required to accomplish the job?) and the job evaluation (whether the jobs are ranked or structured properly?). In broader sense, job design is the process of creating organizational structure so that the basis of evaluation of job and hierarchy is estimated. It is the basis of functional relationship between various areas of functions.
These situations call for job design, the process of defining the way work will be performed and the tasks that a given job requires, or job redesign, a similar process that involves changing an existing job design. To design jobs effectively, a person must thoroughly understand the job itself (through job analysis) and its place in the larger work unit’s work flow process (through work flow analysis). Having a detailed knowledge of the tasks performed in the work unit and in the job, a manager then has many alternative ways to design a job. As shown in Figure , the available approaches emphasize different aspects of the job: the mechanics of doing a job efficiently, the job’s impact on motivation, the use of safe work practices, and the mental demands of the job.
Job design is the process of:
(a) Deciding the contents of the job.
(b) Deciding methods to carry out the job.
(c) Deciding the relationship which exists in the organization.
Job analysis helps to develop job design and job design matches the requirements of the job with the human qualities required to do the job
Job design principles can address problems such as;
- Work overload,
- Work under load,
- Limited control over work,
- Shift work,
- Delays in filling vacant positions,
- Excessive working hours, and
- Limited understanding of the whole job process.
Job design is sometimes considered as a way to help deal with stress in the workplace.
Features of Good Job Design
Good job design accommodates employees’ mental and physical characteristics by paying attention to:
- Muscular energy such as work/rest schedules or pace of work, and
- Mental energy such as boring versus extremely difficult tasks.
Good job design:
- Allows for employee input. Employees should have the option to vary activities according to personal needs, work habits, and the circumstances in the workplace.
- Gives an employee a sense of accomplishment.
- Includes training so the employee knows what tasks to do and how to do them properly.
- Provides good work/rest schedule.
- Allows for an adjustment period for physically demanding jobs.
- Provides feedback to the employees about their performance.
- Minimizes energy expenditure and force requirements.
- Balances static and dynamic work.
- Job design is an ongoing process. The goal is to make adjustments as conditions or tasks change within the workplace.
Benefits of Job Design
The following are the benefits of good job design:
- Employee Input
A good job design enables good job feedback. Employees have the option to various tasks as per their personal and social needs, habits and circumstances in the workplace.
- Employee Training
Training is an integral part of job design. Contrary to the philosophy of “leave them alone’ job design lies due emphasis on training people so that are well aware of what their job demands and how it is to be done.
- Work / Rest Schedules
Job design offers good work and rest schedule by clearly defining the number of hours an individual has to spend in his/her job.
A good job design allows for adjustments for physically demanding jobs by minimizing the energy spent doing the job and by aligning the manpower requirements for the same.
Job design is a continuous and ever-evolving process that is aimed at helping employees make adjustments with the changes in the workplace. The end goal is reducing dissatisfaction, enhancing motivation and employee engagement at the workplace.
Techniques of Job Design (Describe job design as an organizational tool)
Job enlargement, job enrichment, job rotation, and job simplification are the various techniques used in a job design exercise. A well-designed job will encourage a variety of ’good’ body positions, have reasonable strength requirements, require a reasonable amount of mental activity, and help foster feelings of achievement and self-esteem.
Achieving good job design involves administrative practices that determine what the employee does, for how long, where, and when as well as giving the employees a choice where ever possible.
- Job Simplification
Job is simplified or specialized. The job is broken down into small parts and each part is assigned to an individual.
To be more specific, work simplification is mechanical pacing of work, repetitive work processes, working only on one part of a product, predetermining tools and techniques, restricting interaction amongst employees, few skills requirements.
Work simplification is used when jobs are not specialized.
- Job Rotation
Job rotation means systematically moving workers from one job to another.
When incumbents become bored with routine jobs, job rotation is an answer to it. Here jobs remain unchanged, but the incumbents shift from one job to another.
On the positive side, it increases the intrinsic reward potential of a job because of the different skills and abilities needed to perform it. Workers become more competent in several jobs, know a variety of jobs and improve the self-image, personal growth.
Further, the worker becomes more valuable to the organization. On the negative side, it may not be much enthusiastic or efficiency may not be more.
Besides jobs may not improve the relationships between task, while activities and objectives remain unchanged. Further training costs also rise and it can also de-motivate intelligent and ambitious trainees who seek specific responsibilities in their chosen specialties.
- Job Enlargement
Job enlargement means assigning workers additional same-level activities. Job enlargement changes the jobs to include more and/or different tasks. It means expanding the number of tasks or duties assigned to a given job. Job enlargement is naturally opposite to work simplification.
Adding more tasks or duties to a job does not mean that new skills and abilities are needed. There is only horizontal expansion.
It is with the same skills taking additional responsibilities like extending working hours etc. Job enlargement may involve breaking up the existing work system and redesigning a new work system.
- Job Enrichment
Job enrichment is improvisation of both tasks efficiency and human satisfaction by building into people’s jobs, quite specifically, greater scope for personal achievement and recognition, more challenging and responsible work and more opportunity for individual advancement and growth.
An enriched job will have more responsibility, more autonomy (vertical enrichment), and more variety of tasks (horizontal enrichment) and more growth opportunities. The employee does more planning and controlling with less supervision but more self-evaluation.
- Job Reengineering
Reengineering means redesigning a business process so that small multidisciplinary self-managing teams get the task done together, all at once. Reengineering identifies the desired outcome of a system or subsystem and restructures jobs and even departments to radically increase performance.
Often this is done by eliminating unneeded steps and clustering related responsibilities into one job or team organized around the process.