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Job Analysis, Job Design and Quality of Work Life
Learning Objectives • Explain what is meant by job analysis and job design. • Understand the uses of job analysis. • Describe the content of a job description and a job specification. • Discuss the collection of job analysis data. • Explain the major methods of job analysis. • Discuss competency profiling. • Understand the major approaches to job design. • Discuss quality of work life, employee participation and industrial democracy.
This chapter introduces the concepts of job analysis, job design and quality of work life. The first six sections are devoted to job analysis and examine the collection of data for the purposes of job analysis, the methods of job analysis, problems that might be encountered, and the use of job analysis in relation to other HRM functions. Section seven discusses the issue of job design and the characteristics that should be considered when designing any job. The final section looks at the quality of work life and the use of quality circles to improve employee job satisfaction.
A proper match between work and employee capabilities is now an economic necessity, and organisations that fail to have the right people in the right place at the right time are at risk. Job analysis focuses attention on what employees are expected to do. It can be defined as the process by which jobs are divided to determine what tasks, duties and responsibilities they include, their relationships to other jobs, the conditions under which work is performed, and the personal capabilities required for satisfactory performance. Purpose of job analysis The purpose of job analysis is to determine why jobs exist, what tasks are required within the job, when, where and how the job is performed, under what conditions, and what qualifications are needed to perform the job. Components of job analysis Job analysis provides information about three basic aspects of a job. • • • Job content: the duties and responsibilities of the job Job requirements: the formal qualifications, knowledge, skills, abilities and personal characteristics which employees need to perform the content of the job Job context: situational and supporting information regarding the particular job
Approaches to job analysis There are two basic approaches to job analysis: • • a job-oriented (or task) approach - A job-oriented approach is concerned with what gets done — that is, the tasks, duties and responsibilities of the job (job content). an employee-oriented (or behaviour) approach. - The employee-oriented approach focuses on how the job is done — that is, the human behaviour required to perform the job (job requirements).
Job analysis and job design Job analysis is normally conducted after the job has been designed, the worker has been trained and the work has been performed. It is a snapshot of the job that exists at that time, not what it should be. When to analyse a job Job analysis is generally undertaken: 1. when the organisation commences and the job analysis program is started; 2. when a new job is created; and 3. when a job is changed significantly as a result of new methods, new procedures or new technology. Uses of job analysis The information produced by job analysis is used extensively in HRM. For example it is used to effectively hire, train, appraise, compensate or use its human resources. The information gathered during the job analysis used in: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Job descriptions Job specifications Job design organisational structure and design HR planning recruitment selection job orientation performance standards and performance appraisal training and development career planning and development job evaluation compensation and benefits healthy and safe working environment. industrial relations legal requirements
Job descriptions A job description is a written statement explaining why a job exists, what the job-holder actually does, how he or she does it, and under what conditions the job is performed. Job description guidelines - Their use and organisational preference largely determine the style and format of job descriptions. Clarity and simplicity of expression are prerequisites for job descriptions and specifications. Job specifications The job specification or person specification is derived from the job description. It identifies the experience, qualifications, skills, abilities and knowledge, personal qualities and special requirements needed to successfully perform the job. Job descriptions, job specifications and unions The language used in writing job descriptions and job specifications is extremely important as it may become part of an award or negotiated agreement involving a union. Badly written job descriptions and job specifications restrict management’s freedom to change job tasks, duties and responsibilities and to assign work to employees. To avoid disputes, it is critical that job descriptions and job specifications be clear, concise and understandable.
Criticism of job descriptions The traditional job description has been criticised for being a straitjacket suitable only for repetitive work; a static written description that ignores the dynamics of the job. Job fluidity undermines the effectiveness of traditional job descriptions and means that they risk being out of date and counterproductive as guides for selection, job evaluation and so on. Thus, job descriptions are seen as being appropriate only for stable, predictable and bureaucratic organisations. Finally, job descriptions are seen as archaic because the traditional job comprising set tasks is disappearing. Project-based work instead of position-based work signals the demise of the traditional job and traditional job description. Competition, technical innovation and changing workplace values have created the need for a work environment where jobs are re-invented totally.
Collection of job analysis information
There are numerous ways of collecting job analysis information. The most appropriate data collection method depends on the purpose of the job analysis, the types of information to be collected, the sources of information, the means of information collection and the way in which the data are to be analysed and reported. The five most common data collection methods are observation, interview, questionnaire, diary/log and critical incident reports. Other approaches include film and video, a computerised system and job analyst participation. Each can be used alone or in conjunction with one or more of the other data collection methods. Combination of data collection methods A combination of methods increases the probability of better results, so multiple methods are frequently used. The job analyst, depending upon the purposes of the job analysis (for example, recruitment and selection, performance appraisal or job evaluation), determines the method or combination of methods to be used.
Methods of job analysis
The most popular job analysis techniques are: Functional Job Analysis (FJA) - uses standardised statements and terminology to describe the nature of jobs and to prepare job descriptions and job specifications. Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ) - is a job analysis instrument and scoring/reporting service that is marketed commercially for quantitatively assessing jobs. Management Positions Descriptions Questionnaire (MPDQ) - is a behaviourally oriented, structured questionnaire for describing, comparing, classifying and evaluating management positions. Position Classification Inventory (PCI) - is a job analysis inventory based on Holland’s RIASEC theory, which can be used to classify occupations and to assess person–job fit. Hay Guide Chart Profile Method - Job content is analysed in terms of three major factors that are present to some degree in every job. These are know-how, problem solving and accountability. A fourth factor, working conditions, is used for those jobs for which hazards, an unpleasant environment and/or particular physical demands are significant elements. New multi-method approaches - based on computer technology and sophisticated quantitative techniques are now coming into use. These can efficiently analyse a geographically dispersed work force, track and document rapidly changing job content and, for large organisations, produce results which are very cost effective.
The usefulness of task-oriented approaches to job analysis has been reduced by changes in the workplace. HR managers have increasingly focused on person-oriented approaches such as critical incident reporting and behaviour–event interviews to identify the skills and behaviours needed to perform a job. These occupational requirements are referred to as competencies. A competency ‘is an underlying characteristic of a person that leads to or causes superior or effective performance’. Competency characteristics • Motives • Traits • Self-concept • Knowledge • Skill The difficulties associated with assessing and developing the hidden competencies, means some HR managers and theorists prefer to concentrate on developing universal standards of performance expressed in terms of outputs rather than inputs. This approach is called the standards model and it emphasises minimal standards of performance. The Behavioural Event Interview The Behavioural Event Interview (BEI) is a development of critical incident reporting that generates information about the job, but also about what the job holder thinks, feels and hopes to achieve in the job. It identifies the competencies needed to do the job well. Criticism of competency profiling • Ambiguous meaning of competency. • Generic ‘off-the-shelf’ nature. • Present or past focused. • Emphasis on ‘technical’ competencies. • Assumption of rationality.
Job analysis and EEO
To guarantee compliance with EEO requirements, managers must ‘know the job’. Job analysis can provide the hard evidence of job relatedness and thus help the HR manager to establish organisational adherence to EEO requirements.
Practical problems and theoretical criticisms of job analysis
Some problems that arise in job analysis are the product of human behaviour, while others stem from the nature of the job analysis method. Traditional approaches to job analysis are mostly criticised for their basic assumption that jobs are static, and the validity of the job concept itself.
Job design is the specification of the content of a job, the material and equipment required to do the job, and the relation of the job to other jobs. A well-designed job promotes the achievement of the organisation’s strategic business objectives by structuring work so it integrates management requirements for efficiency and employee needs for satisfaction. Methods of job design • Job specialisation - involves using standardised work procedures and having employees perform repetitive, precisely defined and simplified tasks. • Job enlargement - seeks to horizontally load a job by adding to the variety of tasks to be performed.
• • • •
Job rotation - increases task variety by periodically shifting employees between jobs involving different tasks. Job enrichment - involves making basic changes in job content and level of responsibility. Socio-technical enrichment - focuses on the relationship between technology and groups of workers. The aim is to integrate people with technology. Autonomous work teams - represent job enrichment at the group level. The employer sets up selfmanaged work teams who are responsible for accomplishing defined performance objectives.
Comprehensive job enrichment: the Hackman–Oldham Job Characteristics Model The Job Characteristics Model (JCM) combines both horizontal and vertical improvements to stimulate employee motivation and satisfaction. Employees perform better when they perceive their work as being meaningful, have responsibility for outcomes and receive feedback on the results of their activities. Five core job characteristics are especially important to job design: 1. Skills variety - the degree to which a job holder must carry out a variety of different activities and use a number of different personal skills in performing the job 2. Task identity - the degree to which performing a job results in the completion of a whole and identifiable piece of work and produces a visible outcome that can be recognised as the result of personal performance. 3. Task significance - the degree to which a job has a significant impact on the lives of other people, whether those people are co-workers in the same organisation or individuals outside the organisation. 4. Autonomy - the degree to which the job holder has the freedom, independence and discretion necessary to schedule work and to decide which procedures to use in carrying it out. 5. Feedback - the degree to which performing the activities required by the job provides the employee with direct and clear information about the effectiveness of his or her performance.
Quality of work life
Quality of work life (QWL) programs incorporate principles of job enrichment and socio-technical enrichment in a comprehensive effort to improve the quality of the work environment. QWL programs especially seek to integrate employee needs and wellbeing with the organisation’s desire for higher productivity. Quality circles The exact meaning of quality circles can vary from organisation to organisation and country to country. Quality circles usually consist of small groups of five to ten workers who meet on a regular basis. The objective is to identify problems as a group, process suggestions and examine alternatives for improving (at relatively low cost) productivity, raising product and service quality, and increasing worker satisfaction. Why quality circles fail Quality circles often fail because: • • • • • • managers often feel threatened managers often pressure employees into starting quality circles instead of leaving employees to initiate them high labour turnover and frequent job changes among quality circle members make it difficult, if not impossible, to maintain any continuity of membership many groups focus on problems that they have no control over or that are beyond their level of expertise to solve some organisations restrict the number of meetings and the time spent in meetings because quality circle gatherings require members to be absent from their jobs quality circles are often beset with problems that derive from union management relations.
Job analysis is a fundamental HRM activity. It is the process whereby jobs are studied to determine their tasks, duties and responsibilities, their relationships to other jobs, the conditions under which work is performed and the personal qualities required for satisfactory performance. The major job analysis data collection methods include observation, interview, questionnaire, employee diary/log, critical incident reporting and competency profiling. The products of job analysis are job descriptions and job specifications: job descriptions provide a written summary of the duties and responsibilities of the position; and job specifications focus on the personal characteristics and qualifications that are required to successfully perform the job. Job design identifies what work must be performed, how it will be performed, where it is to be performed and who will perform it. Job specialisation involves using standardised work procedures and having employees perform repetitive, precisely defined and simplified tasks. Job enlargement, in contrast, seeks to increase the breadth of a job by adding to the variety of tasks to be performed. Job rotation increases task variety by periodically shifting employees between jobs involving different tasks. Job enrichment builds motivating factors such as achievement, recognition, responsibility and opportunities for personal growth by vertical and horizontal loading. Autonomous work teams represent job enrichment at the group level. QWL programs represent a comprehensive effort to improve the quality of the work environment by integrating employee needs and wellbeing with the organisation’s need for higher productivity. Quality circles attempt to overcome job specialisation by giving employees the opportunity to participate in the management of their jobs instead of modifying the job content. Industrial democracy is often equated with employee participation. Industrial democracy involves a redistribution of power in an organisation whereas employee participation schemes (such as quality circles) do not. Industrial democracy is subject to controversy and management resistance whereas employee participation schemes, while also controversial, appear to have a greater chance of acceptance. Terms to identify autonomous work teams autonomy competency profiling critical incident diary/log feedback Functional Job Analysis horizontal loading industrial democracy interview job analysis job analysis questionnaire job analysts Job Characteristics Model job description job design job enlargement job enrichment job rotation job specification Management Position Description Questionnaire observation Position Analysis Questionnaire Position Classification Inventory quality circles quality of work life skills variety socio-technical enrichment task identity task significance vertical loading
REVIEW QUESTIONS Questions in bold print are recommended as exam questions 1. What is job analysis? Why is it important?
Job analysis is a basic HR activity because it focuses attention on what employees are expected to do. Knowledge about jobs and their requirements is collected through job analysis. Job analysis may be defined as the process by which jobs are divided to determine what tasks duties and responsibilities they include, their relationships to other jobs, the conditions under which work is performed, and the personal capabilities required for satisfactory performance. In larger organisations, this systematic collection, evaluation, and organisation of job information is done by HR specialists called job analysts. In smaller organisations it is generally part of the HR Managers job portfolio. Organisations today are becoming more dependent on their human resources. Revolutionary change, complex techniques and global competition mean increasing vulnerability. Organisations that fail to have the right people in the right place at the right time are at risk. A proper match between work and employee capabilities is now an economic necessity. HR Managers therefore need a good understanding of work and the way it is organised. Job analysis and job design provide the foundations for this knowledge. 2. What steps are involved in job analysis? Who should be included in the job analysis process?
The purpose of job analysis is to obtain answers to such questions as: 1. Why does the job exist? 2. What physical and mental activities does the worker undertake? 3. When is the job to be performed? 4. Where is the job to be performed? 5. How does the worker do the job? 6. What qualifications are needed to perform the job? 7. What are the job working conditions (such as the levels of temperature, light, offensive fumes, and noise) 8. What machinery or equipment is used in the job? 9. What constitutes successful performance? Job analysis provides information about 3 basic aspects of a job • • • Job Content - describes the duties and responsibilities of the job in a manner that can range from global statements to very detailed descriptions of tasks and procedural steps Job Requirements - identify the formal qualifications, knowledge, skills abilities and personal characteristics that employees need in order to perform the content of the job in a particular situation or context. Job Context - refers to situational and supporting information regarding the particular job: its purpose, where it fits within the organisation, scope data such as the magnitude of financial, human or material resources managed; the availability of guidelines, the potential consequences of error, the amount and closeness of supervision received or provided; and the work setting, cultural context, physical demands and working conditions. What are some problems you would expect to find in an organisation where jobs have been designed for maximum efficiency without any consideration of employee needs?
Two basic approaches to job analysis exist - a job (or task) oriented approach and an employee (or behaviour) oriented approach. A job oriented approach is concerned with what gets done - the tasks, duties and responsibilities of the job (job content). The job oriented approach usually designs jobs for maximum efficiency. In contrast, the employee oriented approach focus is on the human behaviour required (ie. how a job is done) to do the job (job requirement). This approach has greater consideration for human needs. Job requirements (knowledge skills and abilities) can be determined from a description of the job content. A description of knowledge, skills and abilities however, does not permit an identification of tasks, duties and responsibilities.
Some of the problems that one would expect in an organisation where jobs are designed for maximum efficiency without any consideration of human needs are low levels of job enrichment poor Quality of Work Life (QWL) dissatisfaction with work staff turnover low motivation 4. What are the major uses of job analysis in HRM?
The information produced by job analysis is used extensively in HRM. It is difficult to imagine how an organisation could effectively hire, train, appraises, compensate or utilise its human resources without the kinds of information derived from job analysis" 1. Job Descriptions - job descriptions define what a job is by identifying its content, requirements and context. Because job descriptions provide a written summary of the duties and responsibilities of the job, they help managers and current and prospective employees understand what the job is and how it is to be performed. Job Specification - job specifications focus on the personal characteristics and qualifications that an employee must possess to perform the job successfully. Job Design - job design identifies what work must be performed, how it will be performed, where it is to be performed and who will perform it. Job analysis information is invaluable in determining which tasks should be grouped together to form a job and structuring jobs so that employee satisfaction and performance can be enhanced. Organisational Structure and Design - job analysis by clarifying job requirements and the inter relationships among jobs means content and tasks duties and responsibilities at all levels can be specified, thus promoting efficiency by minimising overlap or duplication. Job analysis information is invaluable in determining which tasks should be grouped together to form a job and structuring jobs so that employee satisfaction and performance can be enhanced. HR Planning - HR or personnel planning involves "getting the right number of qualified people into the right job at the right time". Job analysis information is essential for this if the number and types of employees to be recruited or exited from the organisation are to be accurately determined. Recruitment - job analysis information helps the HR Manager attract better qualified candidates by identifying who to recruit and how and where to recruit them by establishing the job requirements that must meet. In addition, job analysis permits the HR Manager to provide realistic job previews by highlighting irrelevant and or distorted job information. Selection - job analysis information identifies what the job is by defining what duties and responsibilities must be performed. This facilitates the development of job related selection techniques, helps ensure that EEO requirements are met, and increases the likelihood of a proper matching of an applicant with a job. Finally, job analysis information can be used to validate the selection techniques. Orientation - Effective job orientation requires a clear understanding of the work to be performed. A new employee cannot be properly taught how to do a job if job duties and responsibilities are not clearly defined.
Performance Appraisal - Job analysis information is essential to the establishment of performance standards. Through job analysis a thorough understanding of what the employee is supposed to do is obtained. Without this, acceptable levels of performance cannot be determined or an accurate measure of actual performance obtained. Training and Development - Job analysis information is used to design and implement training and development programs. The job specification defines the knowledge, skills and abilities required for successful job performance. This allows the HR Manager to establish training and development objectives, design programs and determine whether or not a current or potential employee requires training. Career planning and Development - HR Managers are better placed to offer career guidance when they have a good understanding of the types of jobs existing in an organisation. Similarly, by identifying jobs and job requirements, employees become aware of their career options and what constitutes a realistic career objective for them in the organisation. Compensation and Benefits - the job description is the foundation of job evaluation. It summarises the nature and requirements of the job and permits its evaluation relative to other jobs. Once the relative worth of a job has been determined an equitable level of compensation and benefits can be assigned. Health & Safety - job analysis information helps create a healthy and safe working environment. Jobs with hazardous conditions methods or procedures can be identified and redesigned to eliminate or reduce exposure to health and safety hazards. Industrial Relations - Misunderstandings and disagreement among managers, employees and unions over job content is a major source of grievance and demarcation disputes. Job analysis information can help avoid such disputes by providing a clear description of tasks and responsibilities and identifying the formal qualifications, skills, abilities, knowledge and experience required to successfully perform the work. Do you think job enrichment is just a fancy name for employee exploitation? Explain your answer.
Job enrichment is operationalised with job descriptions and job specifications. Badly written job descriptions and job specifications restrict management's freedom to make changes in job tasks, duties and responsibilities; and assign work to employees. Claims of employee exploitation will usually come from trade unions. To avoid industrial disputes with trade unions, it is critical that job descriptions and job specifications be clear, concise and understandable. This is particularly so with jobs that have A,B,C, classifications. Such jobs must be carefully distinguished by job title and clearly involve different job content and job requirements. Where ABC type classifications have developed for 'historical' reasons it is essential that a thorough job analysis be conducted to ensure that more than one level of the job actually exits. If this is not done, claims for "higher duties" payments or upgrade to a higher classification are likely to be an ongoing source of grievances. Precise job descriptions cannot overcome incompetent management or inadequate wage and salary administration but they do help. Job analysts or HR Managers preparing job descriptions subject to award or contract negotiation can minimise risk of disputes by paying attention to the following; . Job descriptions and job specifications for higher level jobs should include only job content and job requirements which reflect the highest level of difficulty encountered by job holders on a regular and consistent basis.
Job descriptions and job specifications for jobs at each level should only use terms and definitions which have the complete agreement and common understanding of employees, union representatives, supervisors and managers. Job description language should be kept clear and simple to avoid the union argument that the job sounds "difficult to do". Job descriptions should be concise. Long job descriptions allow the union to argue "if the employee has to do ALL this..."
Job enrichment involves making basic changes in job content and level of responsibility. Through vertical loading the employee is given the opportunity to experience greater achievement, recognition, responsibility and personal growth and through horizontal loading the complexity of work is increased to promote interest. Job enrichment thus builds motivating factors into the job content by . . Combining tasks - factionalised tasks are combined to increase skill variety and task identity. Creating natural work units - the job is changed so that the employee is responsible for or "owns" an identifiable body of work so that he will view his work as important and meaningful rather than irrelevant and boring. Establishing client relationships - wherever possible a direct relationship is established between the employee and her client (ie. the user of the product or service that the employee produces). Expanding jobs vertically - vertical loading gives employees responsibilities and control formerly reserved for higher level positions. It seeks to close the gap between the "doing" and the "controlling" aspects of the job and thus increase employee autonomy.
The above elements of job enrichment all sound like they are giving the worker more to do, without any commensurate increase in remuneration. This can lead to claims of exploitation. Job enrichment clearly is not for everyone. To avoid claims of exploitation, and to minimise the risk of industrial disputation arising from the implementation of job enrichment, management should consider the following: The existing level of discontentment among employees. The economic and technical feasibility of job enrichment. Whether there is a natural unit of work. Whether the employee can be given control over the job. The employees’ perceptions about the meaningfulness of the job to society. Whether there is a reward to the employee for assuming increased responsibility. If performance feedback can be given. If there is some form of consumer identification. Whether management style is compatible with job enrichment. If the employees want enriched jobs. If there is union opposition to job enrichment. If the jobs are easy to enrich. Whether motivation is central to the problem. If the compensation benefits and working conditions are satisfactory.
What is job design? What factors influence job design? Give examples.
Australians today expect more from their jobs. Alas the gap between what employees want from their jobs and what they actually get appears to be widening. Today significant numbers of Australians are dissatisfied with the quality of their working lives. Human Resource Managers must promote employee productivity by finding ways to unlock the potential that exists in the overwhelming majority of employees. One way to do this is through better job design - as both productivity and quality of work life are tied to job design. There is however, no one best way to design a job. The different approaches to job design can emphasise either efficiency or employee satisfaction. Because job design is influenced by numerous factors such as management philosophy, government regulations, union requirements, economic conditions and employee numbers and availability trade offs inevitably occur . This means that some jobs will be more or less efficient or satisfying than others. Regardless poorly designed jobs result in lower productivity, employee turnover, absenteeism, sabotage, resignations and unionisation. In contrast, a well designed job promotes the achievement of the organisation's objectives by structuring work in a way that integrates management requirements for efficiency and employee needs for satisfaction. Effective job design thus presents a major challenge for the HR manager. Job design is also affected by the nature of the task, the attributes of the worker, the cost of re-design. 7. Imagine that you manage a fast-food franchise. If you wanted to decrease labour turnover and absenteeism, would you (a) increase pay rates or (b) rotate, enlarge or enrich jobs? Explain your answer. Students have the opportunity to display their understanding of the concepts. The task of the Instructor is to help the student to justify each suggestion they make. Points that probably should come out of the exercise are: * Increasing pay rates is probably not feasible because of the low margins that fast food franchises operate on. Also, pay rates are usually determined in Australia by industrial awards. * Rotation is certainly feasible to break up the monotony that comes with performing low skill tasks over and over. * Job enlargement is another way to provide task variety. However, the confined space of fast food franchises means that it may be impractical to have the workforce performing a wide range of tasks simultaneously. Teamwork may also suffer if the workforce does not have clear and specialised jobs to perform. There may also be union opposition to job enlargement, especially in light of the low wages that are paid. * A degree of Job Enrichment is possible, but its feasibility is limited. The nature of the workforce may be such that too much enrichment will over stretch the capacity of workers to accept extra responsibility. Combining tasks has been discussed above. Creation of natural work units is encouraged in fast food franchises; one person might "own" the drive-through order point, for example. Establishing client relationships is possible to the extent that workers have direct interaction with customers. Vertical expansion (loading) is often not feasible for various reasons. However, promotion is quite possible for those who stay. Work related feedback is not feasible, but supervisor initiated feedback can certainly be very motivating. 8. What are the relationships between job analysis, job descriptions and job specifications?
The information produced by job analysis is used extensively in HRM. It is difficult to imagine how an organisation could effectively hire, train, appraises, compensate or utilise its human resources without the kinds of information derived from job analysis. The two principle components of the job analysis are job descriptions and job specifications. Job Descriptions define what a job is by identifying its content, requirements and context. Because job descriptions provide a written summary of the duties and responsibilities of the job, they help managers and current and prospective employees understand what the job is and how it is to be performed. A job description is a written statement explaining why a job exists, what the job holder actually does, how he or she does it, and under what conditions job is performed. There is no standard format used for writing a job
description. The format, in fact, will vary widely depending on management preference and the uses to which the job descriptions will be put. Most job descriptions (in one form or another) do however contain information on job identification, job summary, duties and responsibilities, relationships, know how, problem solving, accountability, and special circumstances. Job Specification - job specifications focus on the personal characteristics and qualifications that an employee must possess to perform the job successfully. The job specification is derived from the job description. It identifies the experience; qualifications, skills, abilities and knowledge, personal qualities and special requirements needed to successfully perform the job. The job specification shows the HR Manager what kind of candidate to recruit and identifies what factors to assess the candidate on. The job specification may be incorporated into the job description form or documented separately. Job Descriptions and Job Specification should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that they still accurately describe the job and the personal requirements needed. This maintains the integrity of the documents and promotes employee confidence in the job analysis process 9. What are the differences between job rotation, job enlargement, job enrichment and comprehensive job enrichment?
Job enlargement seeks to horizontally load a job by adding to the variety of tasks to be performed. Task variety is assumed to offset some of the disadvantages of job specialisation and thereby increase employee performance and satisfaction. Job rotation increases task variety by periodically shifting employees between jobs involving different tasks. It is closely related to job enlargement but instead of giving the employee more tasks to do, the employee is rotated between different jobs. Job rotation aims to reduce boredom through diversifying the tasks to be performed. If however, all the tasks are boring and routine, similar problems to those found with job enlargement arise. In contrast, if job rotation is used to place employees in more challenging jobs it can be effective for improving job satisfaction helping an employee develop a generalist perspective, increasing skills and increasing workforce flexibility. Job enrichment involves making basic changes in job content and level of responsibility. Through vertical loading the employee is given the opportunity to experience greater achievement, recognition, responsibility and personal growth and through horizontal loading the complexity of work is increased to promote interest. Comprehensive job enrichment combines both horizontal and vertical improvements to stimulate employee motivation and satisfaction. Employees perform better when they perceive their work as being meaningful, have responsibility for outcomes and receive feedback on the results of their activities. 10. What methods of job analysis would be most appropriate for analysing the job of: (a) a HR manager? (b) a university lecturer? (c) a sales representative? (d) a process worker?
This question gives the student the opportunity to apply the content of the chapter. They should justify their decisions. Some suggestions are: a. HR Manager - Observation is probably not feasible. Much of what they do is not 'observable'. Interviews will provide a rich source of data. Most HR management is situation specific. The only way to find the true nature of any one specific job is to interview. Questionnaires are ok if specific information is required. A diary/log will provide similar information to that provided by observation.
University lecturer - similar comments can be made to that of the HR manager. Sales representative - Observation is very feasible. Interactions with customers are observable and can provide an accurate insight into the nature of the job. Interviews and questionnaires are less valuable and the information provided by them is open to differing interpretations and affected by attitudes and opinions. A diary/log can often correct misconceptions about what people really do. Process worker - most factory workers are process workers. Observation is a rich source of data, but a sensitive issue to most workers. Interviews are not very valuable. Questionnaires are good to test satisfaction and attitudes, but not very valuable for tasks and duties. A diary/log is not feasible because process workers are usually too busy to fill them out.
DIAGNOSTIC MODEL 1. Identify and discuss the key influences from the diagnostic model (figure 1.11) that have significance for job analysis and job design.
Internal and external influences: Legal - Job design and the process of job analysis must conform with equal opportunity requirements. It must also conform with occupational health and safety requirements. It must also not contravene the requirements of relevant awards of enterprise deals. Technological - Technology usually alienates workers from the product or service that they are producing. Technology often also ensures that jobs are in need of more skilled people. Hence, jobs have to be designed with clear skill implications stated, and with effort to build in more of the motivating job characteristics. Demographic - Job Design must take account of the differences between individuals. The job must suit the person to be motivating; and the person must suit the job for the job to be performed well. Business - Job design has two basic rationales. the first is to produce a good or service. The second is to increase individual motivation and commitment. Industrial Relations - Job designs must not contravene awards or enterprise bargaining provisions. Because job design is influenced by numerous factors such as management philosophy, government regulations, union requirements, economic conditions and employee numbers and availability trade offs inevitably occur. This means that some jobs will be more or less efficient or satisfying than others. Regardless poorly designed jobs result in lower productivity, employee turnover, absenteeism, sabotage, resignations and unionisation. In contrast, a well designed job promotes the achievement of the organisation's objectives by structuring work in a way that integrates management requirements for efficiency and employee needs for satisfaction. Effective job design thus presents a major challenge for the HR manager. 2. Explain the impact that job analysis and job design have on the acquisition, development, reward, maintenance and exit of an organisation’s human resources.
A job that is designed for the person who has been specified in the job analysis will be motivating to that person. It will help to acquire such a person. Job analysis clarifies the skills, abilities, and knowledge that must be improved by the training and development process. If people have the right match of skills, abilities and knowledge for the job, and if they perform the job in accordance with the activities in the job description, then their reward for the job will be optimised. Conformity with the description and specification will ensure maintenance of the employment relationship. Non-conformity will hasten exit, either from the organisation, or into another job in the same organisation. 3. Discuss the impact that job analysis, job design and the quality of work life may have on commitment, competence, cost effectiveness, congruence, adaptability, performance, job satisfaction and employee motivation.
If every individual is acquired, developed, and rewarded fairly and equitably, then there is a chance that their commitment, competence cost effectiveness, congruence, adaptability and performance will all be enhanced. The chapter sections on job enrichment and quality of work life help to elaborate on these issues. Soapbox There are seldom clear answers to these questions. The idea is to stimulate debate as much as to determine an answer. ETHICAL DILEMMA The three Gs 1. If you were Kim Taber, what would you do? Why?
As always, the person facing the dilemma has a choice - either do what is required, or refuse and place their career in jeopardy. If, as it seems possible, the suggestion is that Kim is being asked to something that is not just unethical, but immoral, then his/her decision is more clear. In other words, it is easier to refuse. 2. What ethical issues, if any, are raised in this case?
The obvious ethical issue is that of ‘extracurricular’ events coming under the auspices of the HR person. However, in this case, it is apparent that the events discussed are not actually work events. hence, this is not really a job design question. CASE STUDY A case of no interest? As the HR Manager prepare an ‘executive report’ for the Managing Director outlining your analysis of the problems and your proposed solutions. Exit interviews are a good way to gain information for job analysis. Jobs need to be analysed for degree of motivation potential. Job enrichment for senior technicians. Vertical loading for the junior staff to gain new skills and be able to take over from the senior technicians. Technicians possibly could be moved semi-permanently between departments for medium term transfers of, say, 4-5 years. Job rotation.
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