Factors Affecting Job Design02/06/2020
A well defined job will make the job interesting and satisfying for the employee. The result is increased performance and productivity. If a job fails to appear compelling or interesting and leads to employee dissatisfaction, it means the job has to be redesigned based upon the feedback from the employees.
Job design requires the assembly of a number of tasks into a job or a group of jobs. An individual may carry out one main task which consists of a number of interrelated elements or functions. On the other hand, task functions may be split between a team working closely together or strung a long an assembly line.
In more complex jobs, individuals may carry out a variety of connected tasks, each with a number of functions, or these tasks may be allocated to a group of workers or divided between them. Complexity in a job may be a reflection of the number and variety of tasks to be carried out, or the range and scope of the decisions that have to be made, or the difficulty of predicting the outcome of decisions.
Broadly speaking the various factors that affect a job design can classified under three heads. They are:
- Organizational Factors
- Environmental Factors
- Behavioural Factors
Organizational factors that affect job design can be work nature or characteristics, work flow, organizational practices and ergonomics.
(i) Work Nature
There are various elements of a job and job design is required to classify various tasks into a job or a coherent set of jobs. The various tasks may be planning, executing, monitoring, controlling etc. and all these are to be taken into consideration while designing a job.
Ergonomics aims at designing jobs in such a way that the physical abilities and individual traits of employees are taken into consideration so as to ensure efficiency and productivity.
Product and service type often determines the sequence of work flow. A balance is required between various product or service processes and a job design ensures this.
Organizational culture determines the way tasks are carried out at the work places. Practices are methods or standards laid out for carrying out a certain task. These practices often affect the job design especially when the practices are not aligned to the interests of the unions.
Environmental factors affect the job design to a considerable extent. These factors include both the internal as well as external factors. They include factors like employee skills and abilities, their availability, and their socio economic and cultural prospects.
(i) Employee availability and abilities
Employee skills, abilities and time of availability play a crucial role while designing of the jobs. The above mentioned factors of employees who will actually perform the job are taken into consideration. Designing a job that is more demanding and above their skill set will lead to decreased productivity and employee satisfaction.
(ii) Socio economic and cultural expectations
Jobs are nowadays becoming more employee centered rather than process centered. They are therefore designed keeping the employees into consideration. In addition the literacy level among the employees is also on the rise. They now demand jobs that are to their liking and competency and which they can perform the best.
Behavioural factors or human factors are those that pertain to the human need and that need to be satisfied for ensuring productivity at workplace. They include the elements like autonomy, diversity, feedback etc. A brief explanation of some is given below:
Employees should work in an open environment rather than one that contains fear. It promotes creativity, independence and leads to increased efficiency.
Feedback should be an integral part of work. Each employee should receive proper feedback about his work performance.
Repetitive jobs often make work monotonous which leads to boredom. A job should carry sufficient diversity and variety so that it remains as interesting with every passing day. Job variety / diversity should be given due importance while designing a job.
(iv) Use of Skills and abilities
Jobs should be employee rather than process centered. Though due emphasis needs to be given to the latter but jobs should be designed in a manner such that an employee is able to make full use of his abilities and perform the job effectively.