Job Design and Analysis
What is a Job?
A job is a group of positions that are identical with respect to their major or significant tasks and sufficiently alike to justify their being covered by a single analysis. There may be one or more persons employed in a job.
A job refers to the work content performed by a group of people with similar work, such as the work described by the title “section officer” or “police officer.” When the job of a section officer is analysed, it sufficiently represents the job of many other section officers too.
Roles of jobs in an organisation
- Establishing client relationships: With the help of a job, an organisation can establish relations with its clients. In banks, the role of the job is to establish business relations with their depositors and other clients.
- Control over resources: In organisations decisions are made to control the use and misuse of resources. People on the jobs are responsible and accountable, so they minimise costs and maximise benefits by using resources optimally.
- Communication: It is an important role of a good job to use the communication network most efficiently and effectively.
- New learning: By joining a job, people get an opportunity to acquire new learning for their future career and growth. In addition, people can get an opportunity to develop a unique expertise in some fields.
- Direct feedback: By being involved in a job, an employee can get two types of feedback: a) he or she knows the particular behaviour which has to be performed in a job; and b) the behaviour that is rewarded and the one that is not.
Job design is the division of work tasks assigned to an individual in an organization that specifies what the worker does, how, and why. Effective job design contributes to the achievement of organizational objectives, motivation, and employee satisfaction.
“Job design results in a set of purposes, task characteristics, and task duties in a given organisational setting based on a set of unique organisational and personnel qualities.” – Schuler, 1984
“Any activity that involves the alteration of specific jobs (or interdependent systems of jobs) with the intent of increasing both the quality of the employees’ work experience and their on-the-job productivity”. – Hackman, 1977
Three strategies are necessary for organizations to increase the motivation potential of any job:
- job rotation,
- job enlargement, and
- job enrichment.
Each of these offer options for managers to implement in order to effectively design jobs. Employee jobs will need to be designed with fluid composition and boundaries that can rapidly change in size and shape as the winds of change form and reform internal work requirements. (1)
Job Design Approaches/Methods
Scientific Management Approach:
Taylorism, also known as scientific management, is a foundation for systematic job design. Taylorism, or scientific management, is the original job-design theory. It stresses standardization of tasks and proper training of workers to administer the tasks for which they are responsible. Frederick Taylor developed this theory in an effort to develop a “science” for every job within an organization according to the following principles:
- Create a standard method for each job.
- Successfully select and hire proper workers.
- Effectively train these workers.
- Support these workers. (2)
Hertzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory:
The most popular approach of job design emerged in the 1960s, known as Herzberg’s two-factor theory of satisfaction and motivation. This is also known as the Motivation-Hygiene Theory. Herzberg and his associates found that people like to work in those organisations where two factors – hygiene and motivator – are present.
- Hygiene factors are pay, working conditions (heating, lighting and ventilation), company policy and quality of supervision. These factors lead to an increase in productivity.
- Motivators are, on the other hand, the feeling of self-improvement, recognition, achievement, and a desire for and acceptance of greater responsibility.
Managers can minimise dissatisfaction or satisfy lower-order needs by paying adequate salary and wages and by providing better working conditions.
However, satisfaction of higher-order needs – achievement, responsibility, growth and advancement – come from the job itself.
For these reasons, a job has to design in the following ways:
- Direct feedback: One basic principle of the psychology of learning and performance is to know the results of one’s own work. This is essential for efficient learning while performing a job.
- Client relationship: This refers to the situation where employees develop relationships with clients in business matters.
- New learning: An essential ingredient of a good job is the opportunity for individuals to feel that they are growing psychologically.
- Scheduling: Individuals are given opportunity to schedule their own jobs.
- Unique expertise: Work should be such that the worker can be considered “doing his or her own things
- Control over resources: Individuals should have control over the cost so as to keep them as low as organisationally feasible.
- Direct communication: There should be, as far as possible, director face to face communication while working on that job.
- Personal accountability: Making someone more accountable for holding hold his or her job.
This is the process of motivating employees by moving them from one job to another for a short period of time. With a view to save employees from boredom and frustration caused by similar and repetitive jobs for a long time period, this type of job arrangement is useful to diversify activities for a certain time. Moreover, it is normally used to train workers in different skills and techniques so that one can work in different jobs at the time of urgency and scarcity.
Job Enlargement means to increase the tasks of an employee performed by him in a single job. It is an attempt of management to decrease the monotony of the repetitive task. Under this technique, few tasks are added to the existing job which is similar in nature.
Job Enrichment is a job design strategy, applied to motivate the employees by delegating them extra responsibilities to make it more rewarding. In short, we can say that job enrichment means upgrading the quality of a job and making it more exciting, challenging and creative. The job holder is given responsibilities and power to plan, control and make important decisions.
Job Characteristic Approach:
This approach, formulated by Hackman and Oldham in 1975, has received a great deal of attention from researchers and managers interested in job design.
The approach holds that four beneficial effects may result from well-designed jobs:
- internal work motivation (feelings of satisfaction from performing well or dissatisfaction from performing poorly)
- organisational commitment, as manifested by low turnover and absenteeism;
- work satisfaction; and
- performance quality
According to the model, internal work motivation and the other effects are seen as occurring only if three psychological states exist:
- meaningfulness (the job is seen as inherently worthwhile);
- responsibility (the person feels that he or she influences how well the job is performed); and
- knowledge of the results (the person knows what was accomplished).
These three psychological states are seen as dependent in turn upon five job characteristics:
- Skill variety or the degree to which a job requires a variety of different skills.
- Task identity or the degree to which a job requires completion or a whole and identifiable piece of work. In other words, the individual does the task from beginning to end with a visible outcome in mind.
- Task significance or the degree to which a job has a substantial impact on the lives or work of other people, whether in the immediate organisation or the external environment.
- Autonomy or the degree to which a job provides substantial freed independence, and discretion to the individual in scheduling the work and in determining the procedures used to carry it out.
- Feedback or the degree to which carrying out the activities required by a job results in the individual obtaining direct and clear information about the effectiveness of his or her performance.
Benefit of Job Design
The expected advantages from designing jobs are:
- Alterations in the basic relationships between a person and what he or she does on the job;
- Changing behaviour with the feelings of autonomy and personal discretion on the job;
- Initiating other organisational changes and
- Humanising the workplace by providing opportunities to enhance people’s motivations toward growth and personal development
Job Analysis involves a formal study of jobs. The set of jobs in the organisation is the input needed to achieve its objectives. The final outcomes of job analysis are the preparation of job descriptions and job specifications.
“The process of defining a job in terms of talks or behaviours and specifying the education, training and responsibilities needed to perform the job successfully”. – Bureau of Intergovernmental Personnel Programs, 1973
“Job analysis is the process of describing and recording information about job behaviours and activities.” Jackson and Schuler, 2000
Job analysis activity aims to match business objectives and approaches to managing human resources. The information collected through analysis of job has pervasive uses an organisations to manage human resource activities. For example:
- To prepare job description and specification
- To redesign work to achieve strategic objectives.
- To map career path of individual employees.
- To identify redundant jobs that can be merged to eliminated organisational restructuring.
- To specify the competencies needed to perform a job.
- To redesign jobs for disabling employees.
- To develop measures of job performance.
- To training programs and approaches to evaluating them.
- To develop a compensation structure that’s internally equitable.
Collecting Job Analysis Information
The job analyst have to collect the following job-related information;
- Work Activities:
- Job-oriented activities
- Work activities
- Procedures used
- Activity records
- Personal accountability
- worker-oriented activities
- Human behaviours performed in work
- Elemental motions
- Personal job demands
- Job-oriented activities
- Machine tools, equipment, and work aids used
- Job-related Tangible and intangibles
- Material Processed
- Product Made
- Knowledge dealt with or applied
- Services rendered
- Work performance
- Work measurement
- Error analysis
- Work standards
- Other aspects
- Job Context
- Physical working conditions
- Work schedule
- Organisational context
- Social context
- Personnel Requirements
- Job-related knowledge
- Personal attributes
Job Analysis System:
The information collected from job analysis is useful for planning recruitment and selection, training performance evaluation, and designing reward packages.
In the course of analysing jobs, inputs are received from the organisational objectives and technology employed.
The process includes different steps in collecting job analysis information.
The final outcome of the job analysis process is to prepare job description and job specification. The information is also useful for purposes of evaluation and design in the organisation.
- Organisational Objectives
- Technology Employed
- Determining the use of job analysis
- Select job to be analysed
- Collect background information
- Collect job analysis information
- Review the information with the participants
- Job description
- Job specification
- Job design
Collecting Job Analysis Information (Job Analysis Method)
- Observation method: In this method, the observer observes a worker or a group of workers doing a job. He makes a list of all the duties performed by the worker and the qualities required to perform those duties. It is a direct method. Direct exposure to jobs can provide a richer and deeper understanding of job requirements than works’ descriptions of what they do.
- Job performance: With this approach, an analyst does the job understudy to get firsthand exposure to what it demands. With this method, there is exposure to actual job tasks and the physical, environmental, and social demands of the jobs. It is suitable for jobs that can be learned in a relatively short period. Its main limitation is that when the employee’s work is being observed, the employee becomes conscious.
- Work sampling: Under this method, a manager can determine the content and pace of a typical workday through a statistical sampling of certain actions rather than through continuous observation and timing of all actions.
- Individual interview: Here a manager or job analyst visit each job site and talks with employees performing each job. A standardized interview form is used most often to record the information.
- Structured questionnaire: A survey instrument is developed and given to employees and managers to complete. The main advantage of this method is that information on many jobs can be collected inexpensively in a relatively short time. This method is usually cheaper and quicker to administer than other methods. Its main limitation is that it is time-consuming and expensive to develop. The rapport between analyst and respondent is impossible unless the analyst is present to explain and clarify misunderstandings.
- Critical incident method: In this method, the employee is asked to write one or more critical incident that has taken place on the job. The incident will explain the problem, how it is handled, qualities required and difficulty levels, etc. The critical incident method gives an idea about the job and its importance.
- Diary method: Under this method, companies can ask employees to maintain log records or daily diaries, and job analysis can be done based on information collected from the record. A log record is a book in which employee records /writes all the activities performed by him on the job.
- Combination of Method: Two or more methods described above may be used to collect information when undertaking the job analysis.
- Conference with Job Analyst/Experts: Using this method, one or more experts sit together to better understand the reason for the existence of a job and to decide about specific characteristics; such as job difficulty, variability, need for overtime and so on.
Job Analysis Process (Steps)
- Understanding the purpose of job analysis
- Understanding the strategic meaning of the jobs in the organisation
- Position benchmarking
- Selecting Method of job analysis
- Prepare job description and specification
Job Analysis Techniques
- Job focused techniques
- Functional job analysis
- Management position description questionnaire
- The Hey Plan
- Method Analysis
- Person-Focused or Behaviour-Focused Techniques
- Position Analysis Questionnaire
- Physical abilities Analysis
- The Critical Incident Technique
- Guidline-Oriented Job Analysis
Purposes of Job Analysis
- Writing job descriptions and specialisation
- Job Description
- Job Specification
- Job evaluation
- Recruitment and selection information
- Performance appraisal development
- Training and development need
- Worker orientation
- Human resource planning
Value of Written Job Requirements
- Management an Introduction By David Boddy (Publication – Pearson, 7th Edition)