Monday, February 22, 2010


Individual responses to jobs vary. A job may be motivating to one person but notto someone else. Also, depending on how jobs are designed, they may provide more or less opportunity for employees to satisfy their job-related needs. For example, a sales job may furnish a good opportunity to satisfy social needs, whereas a training assignment may satisfy a person’s need to be an expert in a certain area.
A job that gives little latitude may not satisfy an individual’s need to be creative or innovative. Therefore, managers and employees alike are finding that understanding the characteristics of jobs requires broader perspectives than it did in the past.
Designing or redesigning jobs encompasses many factors. Job design refers to
organizing tasks, duties, and responsibilities into a productive unit of work. It involves the content of jobs and the effect of jobs on employees. Identifying the components of a given job is an integral part of job design. More attention is being paid to job design for three major reasons:
-Job design can influence performance in certain jobs, especially those where employee motivation can make a substantial difference. Lower costs through
reduced turnover and absenteeism also are related to good job design.
-Job design can affect job satisfaction. Because people are more satisfied with
certain job configurations than with others, it is important to be able to identify what makes a “good” job.
Job design can affect both physical and mental health. Problems such as hearing loss, backache, and leg pain sometimes can be traced directly to job design, as can stress and related high blood pressure and heart disease.
Not everyone would be happy as a physician, as an engineer, or as a dishwasher.
But certain people like and do well at each of those jobs. The person/job fit is a simple but important concept that involves matching characteristics of people with characteristics of jobs. Obviously, if a person does not fit a job, either the person can be changed or replaced, or the job can be altered. In the past, it was much more common to make the round person fit the square job. However, successfully “reshaping” people is not easy to do. By redesigning jobs, the person/ job fit can be improved more easily. Jobs may be designed properly when they are first established or “reengineered” later.
Identifying the components of a given job is an integral part of job design. Designing or redesigning jobs encompasses many factors, and a number of different techniques are available to the manager. Job design has been equated with job enrichment, a technique developed by Frederick Herzberg, but job design is much broader than job enrichment alone.
JOB ENLARGEMENT AND JOB ENRICHMENT Attempts to alleviate some of the problems encountered in excessive job simplification fall under the general headings of job enlargement and job enrichment. Job enlargement involves broadening the scope of a job by expanding the number of different tasks to be performed.
Job enrichment is increasing the depth of a job by adding responsibility for planning, organizing, controlling, and evaluating the job. A manager might enrich a job by promoting variety, requiring more skill and responsibility, providing more autonomy, and adding opportunities for personal growth. Giving an employee more planning and controlling responsibilities over the tasks to be done also enriches. However, simply adding more similar tasks does not enrich the job. Some examples of such actions that enrich a job include:
-Giving a person an entire job rather than just a piece of the work.
-Giving more freedom and authority so the employee can perform the job as he
or she sees fit.
-Increasing a person’s accountability for work by reducing external control.
-Expanding assignments so employees can learn to do new tasks and develop new areas of expertise.
-Giving feedback reports directly to employees rather than to management only.
JOB ROTATION The technique known as job rotation can be a way to break the
monotony of an otherwise routine job with little scope by shifting a person from job to job. For example, one week on the auto assembly line, John Williams attaches doors to the rest of the body assembly. The next week he attaches bumpers. The third week he puts in seat assemblies, then rotates back to doors again the following week. Job rotation need not be done on a weekly basis. John could spend one-third of a day on each job or one entire day, instead of a week, on each job. It has been argued, however, that rotation does little in the long run to solve the problem of employee boredom. Rotating a person from one boring job to another may help somewhat initially, but the jobs are still perceived to be boring. The advantage is that job rotation does develop an employee who can do many different jobs.

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