Job Design


Job Design:

A job can be defined as the set of tasks and responsibilities of a worker. These tasks and responsibilities, along with performance expectations, work conditions (time and place of work), general skills, and possibly methods to be used, are normally contained in a written job description. There is no set formula for designing jobs that will best fit a production system. Job design is the consciously planned structuring of work effort performed by an individual or a team of persons. There is increasing evidence that poorly designed jobs are a pervasive social problem affecting the mental and physical health of the worker both on and off the job.

Job design helps to determine: What tasks are done, how the tasks are done, how many tasks are done, and in what order the tasks are done. It takes into account all factors which affect the work, and organizes the content and tasks so that the whole job is less likely to be a risk to the employee. The objective of job design is therefore, to develop work assignments that meet the requirements of the organization and the technology, and at the same time also satisfy the personal and individual requirements of the job holder.

Various techniques of job design are

Simplification of Job

  • Job Enlargement
  • Job Enrichment
  • Job Rotation

Simplification of Job:

In job simplification jobs are broken in to very small parts as in assembly line operations and work can be done by same individual repeatedly and it will increase productivity and proficiency of individual. However it produces boredom and monotony in worked.

Job Enlargement:

Job enlargement expands job horizontally. It increases job scope; that is, it increases the number of different operations required in a job and the frequency with which the job cycle is repeated. By increasing the number of tasks an individual performs, job enlargement, increases the job scope, or job diversity. Instead of only sorting the incoming mail by department, for instance, a mail sorter’s job could be enlarged to include physically delivering the mail to the various departments or running outgoing letters through the postage meter. Job enlargement decreases some boredom but it is not enough to motivate as nature of work remain same.

Job Rotation:

Job rotation is the systematic and planned rotation of individuals in pre-determined jobs  (other than their own) so they can gain additional knowledge or skills.  It is done quite a bit for developing managers (because they need to be familiar with operations overall) and also used with others who want to advance to a new role or become more knowledgeable in their current job role.

Some of the major benefits of job rotation are:

It provides the employees with opportunities to broaden the horizon of knowledge, skills, and abilities by working in different departments, business units, functions, and countries

Identification of Knowledge, skills, and attitudes required

It determines the areas where improvement is required

Assessment of the employees who have the potential and caliber for filling the position

Job Enrichment:

Job enrichment is an approach to job design.  The focus is to increase the depth of the job (by the amount of discretion and responsibility the job holder has).  It is different from job enlargement (which focuses on increasing the number of tasks a job holder is responsible for performing (more work/tasks to do!)
In job enrichment, additional tasks are not the focus for the goal, but an increase in tasks could be a result of giving the job holder more authority, discretion, and responsibility for decision making in their current role. It is the most effectively motivating tool used by the organizations which enhances the decision making skills of the managers and helps in their overall development.