Job Design Methods: Rotation, Simplification, Enlargement and Enrichment of Jobs!
Job design logically follows job analysis. Job analysis provides job related data as well as the skill and knowledge expected of the incumbent to discharge the job. Job design involves organizing tasks, duties and responsibilities into a unit of work to achieve certain objectives.
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 holders and his supervisors, subordinates and colleagues.
The main objectives of job design are to integrate the needs of the individuals and the requirements of the organisation. Needs of the employees include job satisfaction in terms of interest, challenge and achievement? Organisational requirements are high productivity, technical efficiency and quality of work.
1. Job Rotation:
It is one of the methods of job design which is an answer to the problem of boredom. Job rotation implies the shifting of an employee from one job to another without any change in the job. With job rotation, a given employee performs different jobs but, more or less, jobs of the same nature.
The advantages of job rotation are—it relieves the employee from the boredom and monotony of doing a single task. The organisation also stands to benefit as the worker become competent in several jobs rather than only one. Periodic job changing can also improve inter-department co-operation.
The limitations are—the basic nature of the job remains unchanged. Also frequent shifting of employees may cause interruption in the work routine of the organisation.
2. Job Simplification:
Here the jobs are simplified or specialised. A given job is broken down into small sub-parts and each part is assigned to one individual.
Job simplification involves (i) Mechanical processing of work; (ii) Repetitive work process (assembly lines); (iii) Working on only one part of a product; (iv) Predetermining tools and techniques; (v) Few skill requirements.
Work simplification is done so that less-trained and the less paid employees can do these jobs.
This method has limitations. Over simplification results in boredom which lead in turn to errors.
3. Job Enlargement:
It is the process of increasing the scope of a job by adding more tasks to it. The related tasks are combined. Job enlargement involves expanding the number of tasks or duties assigned to a given job. Job enlargement therefore, naturally is opposite to work simplification. Adding more tasks/ duties to a job does not mean that new skill and abilities are needed to perform it. There is only a horizontal expansion.
Job enlargement reduces monotony and boredom. It helps to increase interest in work and efficiency. But there is no time increase of the job. Enlarged jobs require longer training period as there are more task to be learned.
4. Job Enrichment:
It involves designing a job in such a way that it provides the workers greater autonomy for planning and controlling his own performance. It seeks to improve tasks, efficiency and human satisfaction by building into people’s jobs, greater scope for personal achievement and recognition, more challenging and responsible work and more opportunity for individual advancement.
The advantages here are that, Job enrichment benefits employees and organisation in terms of increased motivation, performance, job satisfaction, job involvement and reduced absentees.
Further an enriched job shall meet certain psychological needs of job holders (Identity achievement) etc. Job enrichment is motivating and satisfying as it adds status to one’s job. Empowerment, a by-product of job enrichment, gives the employees a sense of ownership and control over their job.
The limitations are, if the employee is lazy or does not give due attention to his/her job, job enrichment will not have the desired outcomes. The cost of design and implementation increases. Further job enrichment by itself does not motivate. This must be preceded by the provision of other variables which contribute to the quality of work life.