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Basics of Work Study

Basics of Work Study

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Published by Haneen Saif

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Published by: Haneen Saif on Jun 11, 2013
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Basics of Work Study / Job Design / Work Measurement

• Objectives of Job Design • Job design refers to the process through which tasks are structured to improve the efficiency and productivity of the workers. Managers design jobs to minimize worker inputs (time and physical effort) and maximize their output. Job design should be technically, behaviorally and economically feasible for workers as well as the organization. • The three types of feasibility are

e. the workload for each worker should be within the reasonable limits of his skills. .Technical feasibility The set of duties or tasks assigned to a worker should be designed to keep the workload at a convenient level. Job design should take into consideration the machinery and equipment required to perform the job. i. and physical and mental ability. employees should be selected and trained to achieve the goals and objectives set forth by the organization. Further. The organization should provide the necessary machinery and equipment that performs the desired tasks.

compensating employees. In order to earn profits. organizations need to control their coasts.Economic feasibility The primary objective of a business organization is to make profits. . maintaining stocks. The costs associated with purchasing materials. and the costs of providing necessary equipment to perform jobs should be such that it is economical to carry out production activities at the required production levels. and other expenditure as well.

this enhances his self-esteem and motivates and stimulates him to work harder. Job design needs to take these behavioral factors into consideration. .Behavioral feasibility The nature of duties and responsibilities that characterize a job influence the perception jobholders have of themselves and their perception of others. When an important responsibility is delegated to a worker. as behavioral traits and attitudes of people have a significant impact on the effectiveness of an organization.



• CONSIDERATIONS IN JOB DESIGN • Some of the important components of effective job design are : .

Job Content It is the central aspect of job design. . The extent to which tasks can or should be defined differs from job to job. These include the duties. It defines the set of activities to be performed on the job. in traditional and repetitive jobs like those performed workers on an assembly line. all tasks that are to be performed can be clearly listed and elaborately specified. and the required formal interaction with others. machines and tools to be used. the equipment. For instance. tasks and job responsibilities to be carried out by the jobholder.

it is difficult to define the job of an executive in exact terms as the duties encompass a much wider range of tasks that are performed in different ways to meet unanticipated and dynamic business situations.On the other hand. .

. Simple work instructions and easy production control because of consistence in work assignment.• • • • • Advantages and Disadvantages of Job Design Advantages Ease in recruitment new workers because fewer skills are required. Lower production time or higher productivity by the learning curve effect due to repetition. Lower wage rates due to lower levels of skills requirement and ease of substitutability of labor. Scope for higher degree of mechanization or automation. Ease of supervision and training the workers.

Higher chances of workers getting local muscular fatigue as the same muscles are used in performing the task. . Hidden costs of worker dissatisfaction that result from high employee turnover and absenteeism. Reduced scope for improving because of workers’ limited perspective. Lower work satisfaction. in the absence of a worker. it is difficult to shift workload to any of the available workers as they do not possess variety of skills.Disadvantages Lower flexibility. as the work is monotonous and boring.

Job Analysis investigates the job content. the scope of responsibilities and all the other information relating to job content. Job analysis aims at setting out the nature of duties to be performed. . the physical conditions in which the job is done and the qualifications that are necessary to carry out job responsibilities.

He mental and physical effort involved. The job requirements in terms of the necessary and desirable qualification. Nature of reporting relationships and so on.Job Description Describes the tasks. t 4. Work experience. The scope of responsibilities. Regarding the job content. 5. . It includes information: 1. 3. duties and responsibilities of a job. 6. 2.

where in a worker is transferred form one job to another for an appropriate period of time. • This avoids the monotony and boredom of a single job and provides the worker with new challenges. • Further. • Another advantage is that the employee acquires multiple skills. the job does not provide any new challenges to the worker.• Job Rotation • A worker doing the same task for a considerable period of time. with time. loses motivation and interest in the job due to monotony and boredom. job rotation is used. • To avoid such situation. .

When an employee performs specialized tasks routinely with little or no variation over a considerable length of time. management try to enlarge the scope of certain jobs by incorporating more variety into the job and increasing the number of tasks involved in the completion of the job. . as new responsibilities added are of a similar skill level. by adding new responsibilities and tasks.Job Enlargement Job enlargement is the process of expanding the scope of the task or job assigned to a worker. It is also called horizontal loading. To avoid this. he often loses interest in the job. which are similar to the existing task.

• Job Enrichment • In contrast to job enlargement where the scope of the job is expanded horizontally. • Instead of bringing in more similar tasks that require similar skill levels. coordinating. . the employee is given a say in the management decisionmaking process or is involved in planning. etc. designing. job enrichment involves the vertical expansion of a job.

the employee is given full trust of the management and considerable autonomy and responsibility in this job. .Empowerment Empowerment is an extension of the job enrichment process. An empowered employee feels a part owner of the organization and performs his best for the organization. Here.

• worker-machine charts.• WORK METHODS • Work methods are studied through the construction of charts like • operations charts. . • simultaneous motion charts • and activity charts.

• standard data. • historical analysis. . • The different techniques used in work measurement are • time study.• WORK MEASUREMENT TECHNIQUES • The main purpose of work measurement is to find the standard time for a job. • work sampling • and predetermined motion time data systems.


. The time is recorded using a time watch or by studying the video clip of the job execution.Time Study Time study is used to identify time standards for a particular job performed by a competent worker under standard conditions.

it should employ standard tools and materials. .Prerequisites for time studies are The job selected should be standardized. he should be representative of all the workers doing the job). The worker whose performance is going to be observed for setting time standards.e. i. and should be an average performer ( i. should be competent in using proper work methods.e.

Elemental tasks thus identified should have identifiable break points (starting and ending points). .The steps involved in time study are described below: Job identification and division The job that is to be timed as selected. so that the time taken for the completion of such tasks can be measured accurately. This job is then divided into a convenient number of element tasks. It should be standard in terms of equipment and materials.

When workers are aware that their performance is being recorded. or resentful. resulting in a slowing down of their pace of work. . Some may become nervous.Pace rating the worker It is wrong to assume that the average of the observations made always represents the time required to perform each elemental task. they often behave differently from usual.

Normal time = Average Cycle Time x Worker Rating .Computing the normal time • The normal time that is required to perform a job by an average worker is then computed based on the average cycle time and the worker rating.

.Applications for work sampling are: Ratio Delay: This refers to find the activity time percentage for an employee or equipment. Ratio delay shows the percentage of time an employee or equipments was occupied or idle.

Performance Measurement: Performance standards can be identified to evaluate employee performance. These performance measurements help management set goals and objectives for employees. Time standards: This refers to identification of the standard time for the completion of a task. . Management uses these time standards in generating time schedules and assigning tasks.

and hence is vital for the success of an organization. . But setting work standards helps improve the performance and management.Historical Analysis Setting work standards by using scientific methods like work sampling and time study is not always economical for an organization.

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