What is Job Design?
Job design is the process of making a fit job for its performer so that a given job can be done efficiently. It means determining an individual’s work-related activities. It is done by defining specific job requirements and their benefits such as authority, responsibilities, tasks, duties, experience, qualifications, salaries, rewards, compensation, and other related factors that define the quality of the job.
Job design believes that the quality a job has, the more attractive the job will be. And, attractive job attracts talented and competent potential employees that all the organizations need to achieve the desired objectives.
A well-designed job gives answers to the questions of what, where, when, how, why, and who will perform the given job. Thus, it is a blueprint of job-related activities.
Job design is the primary function of organizational structure. The primary objective of job design is to create a job that is easy to understand, increase the efficiency of work, reduce the feeling of boredom, and monotonousness in doing the same type of job repetitively.
While designing a job the manager should focus on the scope, tasks, motivating factors, cost, and rewards associated with a particular job.
The various positive outcomes (benefits) of a well-designed job are;
- Easy to understand the functionality of a given set of a job
- Increased employees involvement
- It leads to increased productivity of work
- It leads to increased quality of work
- Increases the satisfaction of employees
- Breakdown the absenteeism of workers
- Helps to reduce the employee turnover
- Reduces the boredom of employees
Thus, job designing involves the logical breakdown of a complex job into small and manageable units. A single person is physically and psychologically unable to perform the entire complex job even if he is an expert in a certain sector of business. The division of work facilitates the workers to choose a job on the basis of their interests and ability.
Job design facilitates grouping activities, the delegation of authority and responsibility, and coordination among the subordinates. It helps to maintain the formal relationship among individuals so that they can perform their work effectively for achieving common objectives.
Approaches/Techniques To Job Design
A job design is done to make individuals responsible for a limited set of activities. Let’s take a closer look into 6 popular techniques for better job design.
#1 Job Specialization
Job specialization is the process of dividing the overall tasks of an organization into smaller components part and each job is entrusted to capable employees. The improvement of specialization assures easiness and correctness in the performance.
The benefit of specialization is that its employees gain expertise in certain sector functions which helps to bring efficiency in the performance. It minimizes the wastage of resources and brings uniformity in the organizational functions. The disadvantage of specialization is that employees can feel bored due to doing the repetitive nature of tasks.
#2 Job Rotation
Job rotation can mean the rotation of employees from one job to a different job. Basically, the job rotation is done within the horizontal or same nature of tasks. Job rotation increases the intrinsic reward potential of a job as different skills and abilities are necessary to perform it.
The main benefit of job rotation is that employees become competent in different jobs. The knowledge about various jobs improves the employee’s self-image, supports personal growth, and they become a valuable asset to the organization.
The main demerit of job rotation is that the employees may feel alienated when they are rotated from one job to another.
#3 Job Enlargement
Job enlargement means horizontal expanding the numbers of tasks assigned to a given job. Enlargement of more tasks to a job does not mean that new knowledge and skills are required for doing the existing job but may it take more time to complete.
In the job enlargement technique of the job design, all employees perform a wide variety of tasks which reduces the level of job satisfaction. The main benefit of enlargement is that it motivates employees as they feel more responsible. However, the limitation of job enlargement is that many employees feel monotonous by doing the same type of tasks.
#4 Job Enrichment
Job enrichment is the process of vertical expansion of tasks assigned to a given job. A job is made enriched by adding on it some motivational factors such as rewards, bonuses, sales commission, etc.
Job enrichment provides an opportunity for employees to maintain self-control over how to do their jobs. Employees performing enriched jobs have increased opportunities to work at higher levels.
It has both positive and negative impacts. On the positive side, it benefits employees and organizations in terms of increased motivation, performance, satisfaction, job involvement, and reduced absenteeism. And on the negative side, employees face challenges in doing assigned tasks.
#5 Job Characteristics
The job characteristics approach assumes that jobs can be designed to help people to get employment opportunities and to make them feel they are doing meaningful and valuable work.
The job characteristics approach of job design involves five dimensions they are, skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback.
Skill Variety. It is the extent to which a job requires a number of skills and talents to perform a job. A job with high skill variety is a more competitive job and requires more talented and competent candidates.
Task Identity. The degree to which a job requires completing an entire piece of work from beginning to end.
Task Significance. It is the degree of impact of one job on other jobs. In other words, it is the perceived importance of tasks to others.
Autonomy. It is the extent to which employees have freedom and discretion to plan, schedule, and perform their jobs as desired.
Feedback. The degree to which a job allows people to have information about the effectiveness of their performance.
#6 Work Team
In a work team, a group is assigned responsibility for designing the work system to be used in performing an interrelated set of jobs.
In this system, work follows from one worker to another and each worker has a specified job to perform. Here, group members decide how jobs will be allocated to each member.