Job Design in HR

Job Design


Job design is next to job analysis. Job design involves systematic attempts to organize tasks, duties and responsibilities into a unit of work to achieve certain objectives. Job design integrates the work content and qualifications required for each job that meets the needs of the employee and the organization. Job design makes the job highly specialized and well-designed jobs are important in attracting and retaining a motivated workforce.

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 Design is affected by three categories of factors:

Organizational Factors

The organizational factors that affect job design are characteristics of task, workflow, ergonomics, and work practices.

  • Characteristic of task: Each task consists of 3 elements, namely, planning, executing and controlling. Job design involves the assembly of a number of tasks into a job or a group of jobs. A job may require an employee to perform a variety of connected task. All these characteristics of jobs are taken into consideration for job design.
  • Workflow: The flow of work in an organization is strongly influenced by the nature of the product. This product usually suggests the sequence and balance between jobs if the work is to be completed efficiently.
  • Ergonomics: Ergonomics is concerned with the designing and shaping of jobs as per the physical abilities and characteristics of individuals so that they can perform their jobs effectively.
  • Work Practices: Work practices are set methods of performing work. This can affect the job design as there is little flexibility in designing the job especially if the work practices are approved by employee unions.
  • Environmental Factors: Environmental factors affect job design. Environmental factors include employee abilities & availability and Social & Cultural expectations.
  • Employee Abilities & Availability: Abilities and availability of people plays an important role while designing jobs. Due attention needs to be given to the employee who will actually perform the job.
  • Social And Cultural Expectations: Jobs should be designed keeping the employees in mind. Due to increase in literacy rate and knowledge, employees are now more aware and only perform jobs that are to their liking and match their profile.
  • Behavioural Factors: Behavioural factors are related to human needs and they need to be satisfied properly. Behavioral elements include the following:
  • Feedback: Employees should be given proper feedback about his job performance. This will enable the employee to improve his performance and complete the job in a proper manner.
  • Autonomy: Employees should be given the proper autonomy required to perform the work. The absence of autonomy may lead to poor performance on the part of employees.
  • Use of Abilities: The job should be designed in such a manner that an employee will be able to use his abilities fully and perform the job effectively
  • Variety: The absence of variety in the job assigned may lead to boredom. Adequate scope to variety factor should be given while designing a job.

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