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Job Design and Its Techniques

What is Job Design:


Work arrangement (or rearrangement) aimed at reducing or overcoming job dissatisfaction and employee
alienation arising from repetitive and mechanistic tasks. Through job design, organizations try to raise
productivity levels by offering non-monetary rewards such as greater satisfaction from a sense of personal
achievement in meeting the increased challenge and responsibility of one's work. Job enlargement, job
enrichment, job rotation, and job simplification are the various techniques used in a job design exercise.
Job design is the process of Work arrangement (or rearrangement) aimed at reducing or overcoming job
dissatisfaction and employee alienation arising from repetitive and mechanistic tasks. Through job design,
organizations try to raise productivity levels by offering non-monetary rewards such as greater satisfaction
from a sense of personal achievement in meeting the increased challenge and responsibility of one's work.
Job enlargement, job enrichment, job rotation, and job simplification are the various techniques used in a
job design exercise. ---businessdictionary.com
Definitions: 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.
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."
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 Rotation:
A job design technique in which employees are moved between two or more jobs in a planned manner. The
objective is to expose the employees to different experiences and wider variety of skills to enhance job
satisfaction and to cross-train them. -------BusinessDictionary.com
Job rotation implies systematic movement of employees from one job to the other. Job remains unchanged
but employees performing them shift from one job to the other. With job rotation, an employee is given an
opportunity to perform different jobs, which enriches his skills, experience and ability to perform different
jobs

Advantages of job rotation


1. Avoids monopoly :- Job rotation helps to avoid monopoly of job and enable the employee to learn
new things and therefore enjoy his job
2. Provides an opportunity to broaden ones knowledge: - due to job rotation the person is able to
learn different job in the organization this broadens his knowledge.
3. Avoiding fraudulent practice: - In an organization like bank jobs rotation is undertaken to prevent
employees from doing any kind of fraud i.e. if a person is handling a particular job for a very long
time he will be able to find loopholes in the system and use them for his benefit and indulge
( participate ) in fraudulent practices job rotation avoids this.
Disadvantages of Job Rotation
1. Frequent interruption :- Job rotation results in frequent interruption of work .A person who is
doing a particular job and get it comfortable suddenly finds himself shifted to another job or
department .this interrupts the work in both the departments.
2. Reduces uniformity in quality :- Quality of work done by a trained worker is different from that
of a new worker .when a new worker I shifted or rotated in the department, he takes time to learn
the new job, makes mistakes in the process and affects the quality of the job.

3. Misunderstanding with the union member :- Sometimes job rotation may lead to
misunderstanding with members of the union. The union might think that employees are being
harassed and more work is being taken from them. In reality this is not the case.
Job enrichment
It is an attempt to motivate employees by giving them the opportunity to use the range of their abilities. It is
an idea that was developed by the American psychologist Frederick Hertzberg in the 1950s. It can be
contrasted to job enlargement which simply increases the number of tasks without changing the challenge.
As such job enrichment has been described as 'vertical loading' of a job, while job enlargement is
'horizontal loading'. An enriched job should ideally contain:
A range of tasks and challenges of varying difficulties (Physical or Mental)
A complete unit of work - a meaningful task
Feedback, encouragement and communication
Job Enrichment is the addition to a job of tasks that increase the amount of employee control or
responsibility. It is a vertical expansion of the job as opposed to the horizontal expansion of a job, which is
called job enlargement.
------About management.com
Advantages of job enrichment
1. Interesting and challenging job :- When a certain amount of power is given to employees it
makes the job more challenging for them, we can say that job enrichment is a method of employee
empowerment.
2. Improves decision making :- Through job enrichment we can improve the decision making ability
of the employee by asking him to decide
3. vation speaks of these higher order needs e.g. Ego and esteemed needs, self-actualization etc. These
needs can be achieved through job enrichment.
4. Reduces work load of superiors :-Job enrichment reduces the work load of senior staff. When
decisions are taken by juniors the seniors work load is reduced.
Disadvantages of job enrichment
1. Job enrichment is based on the assumptions that workers have complete knowledge to take
decisions and they have the right attitude. In reality this might not be the case due to which there
can be problems in working.
2. Job enrichment has negative implications ie. Along with usual work decision making work is also
given to the employees and not many may be comfortable with this.
3. Superiors may feel that power is being taken away from them and given to the juniors. This might
lead to ego problems.
4. This method will only work in certain situations. Some jobs already give a lot of freedom and
responsibility; this method will not work for such jobs.
5. Some people are internally dissatisfied with the organization. For such people no amount of job
enrichment can solve the problem.
Job Enlargement
Job Enlargement, a job design technique in which the number of tasks associated with a job is increased
(and appropriate training provided) to add greater variety to activities, thus reducing monotony.
Job enlargement is considered a horizontal restructuring method in that the job is enlarged by adding related
tasks. Job enlargement may also result in greater workforce flexibility.
Job Enlargement is the horizontal expansion of a job. It involves the addition of tasks
at the same level of skill and responsibility. It is done to keep workers from getting
bored.
It
is
different
than
job
enrichment.
Examples: Small companies may not have as many opportunities for promotions, so
they try to motivate employees through job enlargement.
Advantages of job enlargement
Variety of skills :- Job enlargement helps the organization to improve and increase the skills of the
employee due to organization as well as the individual benefit.
Improves earning capacity :- Due to job enlargement the person learns many new activities.
When such people apply foe jobs to other companies they can bargain for more salary.
Wide range of activities :- Job enlargement provides wide range of activities for employees. Since
a single employee handles multiple activities the company can try and reduce the number of
employees. This reduces the salary bill for the company.

Disadvantages of job enlargement


Increases work burden :- Job enlargement increases the work of the employee and not every
company provides incentives and extra salary for extra work. Therefore the efforts of the individual
may remain unrecognized.
Increasing frustration of the employee :- In many cases employees end up being frustrated because
increased activities do not result in increased salaries.
Problem with union members :- Many union members may misunderstand job enlargement as
exploitation of worker and may take objection to it.
Factors affecting Job design
Job design also gives information about the qualifications required for doing the job and the reward
(financial and non-financial benefits) for doing the job. Job design is mostly done for managers jobs. While
designing the job, the needs of the organization and the needs of the individual manager must be balanced.
There are various factors which affect job design in the company. They can be explained with the help of
diagram.

I] Organizational factors :Organizational factors to refer to factors inside the organization which affect job design they are:
a)

Task characteristics :-

Task characteristics refer to features of the job that is depending on the type of job and the duties involved
in it the organization will decide, how the job design must be done. Incase the company is not in a position
to appoint many people; a single job may have many duties and vice versa.
b) The process or flow of work in the organization :There is a certain order in which jobs are performed in the company. Incase the company wishes it could
combine similar job and give it to one person this can be done if all the jobs come one after the other in a
sequence.
c)

Ergonomics :-

Ergonomics refers to matching the job with physical ability and characteristics of the individual and in
providing an office environment which will help the person to complete the jobs faster and in a comfortable
manner.
d) Work practices :-

Every organization has different work practices. Although the job may be the same the method of doing the
job differs from company to company. This is called work practice and it affects job design.

II] Environmental factors :Environmental factors which affect job design are as follows:
a)

Employee availability and ability :-

Certain countries face the problem of lack of skilled labour. They are not able to get employees with
specific education levels for jobs and have to depend on other countries due to this job design gets affected.
b)

Social and cultural expectations :-

The social and cultural conditions of every country is different so when an MNC appoints an Indian it has to
take into account like festivals, auspicious time, inauspicious time, etc. to suit the Indian conditions. This
applies to every country and therefore job design will change accordingly.

III Behavioral factors :Job design is affected by behavioral factors also. These factors are:
a)

Feedback :-

Job design is normally prepared on the basis of job analysis and job analysis requires employee feedback
based on this employee feedback all other activities take place. Many employees are however not interested
in providing a true feedback because of fear and insecurity. This in turn affects job deign.
b) Autonomy :Every worker desires a certain level of freedom to his job effectively. This is called autonomy. Thus when
we prepare a job design we must see to it that certain amount of autonomy is provided to the worker so that
he carries his job effectively.
c) Variety :When the same job is repeated again and again it leads to burden and monotony. This leads to lack of
interest and carelessness on the job. Therefore, while preparing job design certain amount of variety must
be provided to keep the person interested in the job.
Employee Turnover: positive & Negative impact:
i. Positive Effects of Turnover
Employee turnover typically has a negative connotation, mainly due to the potentially high costs associated with
replacing a departed worker. However, about 25 percent of turnover can actually be considered desirable,
according to Ere.com. There are several instances where the positives of a worker leaving can outweigh the
negatives.

Addition by Subtraction
If employee turnover means losing an individual who is a "bad actor," the impact can be beneficial to your
company. In smaller work environments, even one individual who constantly complains, gossips or doesn't pull
his weight can have a negative effect on company morale. For the remaining workers, the departure of an
employee with a negative attitude can seem like a breath of fresh air. For the business owner, it means no longer
having to deal with the headaches that employee caused.
Gaining Fresh Ideas
Employee turnover can also be positive if it means replacing a veteran employee stuck in her ways with an
individual who brings something new. A long-term employee who was simply going through the motions or had
been biding her time until retirement may have contributed little to the progress of the business. Replacing her
with "new blood" may also give you access to a mind filled with new ideas and an innovative way of thinking.
Avoiding Painful Decisions
If your business has been struggling for some time, you may be contemplating taking the unenviable action of
letting someone go. A perceptive employee may see the handwriting on the wall and seek employment elsewhere
before you need to make a final decision. If the individual was paid well but didn't necessarily make a
contribution worthy of his salary, you also have the option of replacing him with a new hire at a lower salary to
reduce costs.
Improving Diversity
If you are looking to improve your companys diversity, a departure can pave the way to make changes. If you
have a predominantly male workforce, consider hiring a female worker. You can also bring in an individual of a
different ethnicity or nationality. Depending on the personalities and tolerance level of your current workforce,
you may have to first provide some diversity training to make the transition as smooth as possible for all parties.

ii. Negative Effects of Turnover


While losing employees that are poor performers or negative influences on workplace morale can have positive
effects, unplanned and frequent employee turnover is generally regarded as bad for business. High turnover rates
typically mean companies are doing a poor job selecting the right employees, failing to provide a motivating
work environment or losing out to employers that offer better pay and benefits.
Decreased Performance
One of the simplest but highly impacting negative effects of turnover is decreased performance in the workplace.
In their December 2007 Harvard Business School article "Managing the Impact of Employee Turnover on
Performance: The Role of Process Conformance," Zeynep Ton and Robert S. Huckman cite a 48-month study
conducted in a large United States retail chain that revealed that both profit margin and customer service were
adversely affected by turnover. Less experienced workers are less likely to sell higher value solutions and deliver
optimized service.
Unfulfilled Daily Functions
Many of the negative effects of turnover relate to performance quality, but the "Encyclopedia of Business" points
out companies with higher turnover may struggle to complete all necessary or important daily functions. For
instance, if it takes 10 workers to a complete a given work task or function in a day, and only seven workers are
currently employed in that area, the company has to figure out how to deal with the unfulfilled daily work
requirement.
Costs
High costs are one of the more discussed negatives of high turnover. Every time an employee leaves and is
replaced, there are costs associated with the process of losing the first employee and hiring and training the new
one. The Rain Maker Group indicates that it can cost about one-half of an unskilled worker's salary to replace a
lost employee. Replacing a technically skilled employee or a high level manager can cost as much as three to
five times the annual salary. Training costs are commonly discussed, but many people forget costs to complete
exit interviews, market new openings and complete necessary background, reference and drug checks.
Lower Knowledge Base
In organizations with high turnover, constant change in employee ranks means average years of experience and
background of employees are low. This means employees are generally less familiar with work tasks they

complete and working effectively with customers. The "Business Link" website indicates that the more valuable
the positions being turned over are to the company, the more impact the turnover will have on current and future
performance.