Job Design

Organizations also must plan for new jobs and periodically consider whether they should revise existing jobs. These situations call for job design, the process of defining how work will be performed and what tasks will be required in a given job, or job redesign, a similar process that involves changing an existing job design. To design jobs effectively, a person must thoroughly understand the job itself (through job analysis) and its place in the larger work unit’s work flow process (through work flow analysis).

In practice, the scientific method traditionally seeks the “one best way” to perform a job by performing time-and-motion studies to identify the most efficient movements for workers to make. However, a pure focus on efficiency will not achieve human resource objectives. Employers also need to ensure that workers have a positive attitude toward their jobs so that they work with enthusiasm, commitment, and creativity. In a job design, job enlargement refers to broadening the types of tasks performed. The objective of job enlargement is to make jobs less repetitive and more interesting.

Depending on the requirements of individual jobs, one way an organization can give employees some say in how their work is structured is to be flexible about when or where employees work. Organizations can design jobs so that they can be accurately and safely performed given the way the brain processes information. Generally, this means reducing the information-processing requirements of a job. Of course, the simpler jobs also may be less motivating. Employees may enjoy the challenges of a difficult job where they have some control and social support, especially if they enjoy learning and are unafraid of making mistakes.
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