Job design is a core part of human capital management. It is the manual for what an employee is supposed to work in an organization. In summary, job design is the act of defining the responsibilities of the job, skills requirement, the relationship of that particular job with others in an organization with an aim of ensuring that the job holder satisfies the organizational, personal, social, and technological requirements for the position.
Why do we need to design jobs in the right way or what is the aim of job design?
- The first goal of job design is job satisfaction when the job holder is not satisfied with what he or she does every day there is always a problem of high employee turnover. Proper job design is aimed at achieving job satisfaction to the maximum and hence reduce turnover.
- Improve on quality, when job design is done in an excellent way the job holder will work toward minimizing the number of errors and mistakes. The end result of this is high-quality output for organization products and services.
- Reduces employees problems within an organization. Among the problems, it helps to curb is employee absenteeism and conflicts between employees. Proper job design brings contention in whatever an employee does on a daily basis. When an employee is contented he or she will always be available to work and will never feel inferior when he or she compare their jobs with others.
According to Oldham and Hick Man, (1976) Jobs should be designed to meet five core characteristics.
The five characteristics of well-designed jobs are
Job autonomy is the ability of an employee to be able to make an organization decision on their own. According to research jobs where employees are left to decide what to do and do it in the most appropriate way are more satisfying than jobs where people are every now and then being reminded on what to do.
Job identity is the association of a particular task with the completion of the task by a specific employee. More satisfying jobs are the jobs which can be associated with an employee from the start to the end of the task. Example, an auditor who start from vouching and sampling of accounting documents to the presentation of the financial statements is more likely to be satisfied compared to the one who did sampling and vouching then left the presentation of financial statements to a different person within the audit team.
Job feedback entails the ability of an employee to be able to get a response from the organization on what they have been able to achieve within a specific period of time. The employees who receive frequent feedback on their customer satisfaction skills, the percentage of improvement in sales or just an appreciation for always going beyond their job description, these employees are likely to be more satisfied in their jobs than the employees who do not get feedback on what they achieved.
The importance of the particular task an employee undertake and its valuable contribution to an organization is to determine employees satisfaction. Employees who feel their inputs in the organization are greatly contributing to the Return on Investment (ROI) are more satisfied compared to others who can’t be able to relate their contribution to ROI. According to research employees who feel their roles contribute to increasing organization values are more like to stay in an organization even if they are lowly paid
Job Skills variety
This means the number of skills that are applicable in completing a particular task. Employees who feel that quite a number of their skills are contributing to the organization overall goals in their job are likely to be more satisfied than employees who use one or two of their skills to get the job done.
A better understanding of the job design by human resources practitioner can be of great importance in driving organization excellence and achievement of the organization overall goal. Through the application of the core characteristics of the job, organizations can help reduce employees turnover, grievances and boredom in the workplace.
It is, therefore, our responsibilities as practitioners in human resources to apply the best practices of job design and create more satisfying tasks for clients and the organization we work for.