Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Factor affecting job design

Factors affecting job design: - There are various factors which affect job design in the company. They can be explained with the help of diagram.

Factors affecting job design

Organizational factors

Environmental factors

Behavioral factors

Task characteristics

Employee availability and ability

Feed back

Process or flow of work in organization

Social and cultural expectations





Work practices

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1) Organizational factors
Organizational factors to refer to factors inside the organization which affect job design they are

Task characteristics :-

Task characteristics refer to features of the job that is depending on the type of job and the duties involved in it the organization will decide, how the job design must be done. Incase the company is not in a position to appoint many people; a single job may have many duties and vice versa.

The process or flow of work in the organization :-

There is a certain order in which jobs are performed in the company. Incase the company wishes it could combine similar job and give it to one person this can be done if all the jobs come one after the other in a sequence.

Ergonomics :-

Ergonomics refers to matching the job with physical ability and characteristics of the individual and in providing an office environment which will help the person to complete the jobs faster and in a comfortable manner.

Work practices :-

Every organization has different work practices. Although the job may be the same the method of doing the job differs from company to company. This is called work practice and it affects job design.

2) Environmental factors
Environmental factors which affect job design are as follows

Employee availability and ability :-

Certain countries face the problem of lack of skilled labour. They are not able to get employees with specific education levels for jobs and have to depend on other countries due to this job design gets affected.

Social and cultural expectations :-

The social and cultural conditions of every country is different so when an MNC appoints an Indian it has to take into account like festivals, auspicious time, inauspicious time, etc. to suit the Indian conditions. This applies to every country and therefore job design will change accordingly.

3) Behavioral factors :-
Job design is affected by behavioral factors also. These factors are

Feedback :-

Job design is normally prepared on the basis of job analysis and job analysis requires employee feedback based on this employee feedback all other activities take place. Many employees are however not interested in providing a true feedback because of fear and insecurity. This in turn affects job deign.

Autonomy :-

Every worker desires a certain level of freedom to his job effectively. This is called autonomy. Thus when we prepare a job design we must see to it that certain amount of autonomy is provided to the worker so that he carries his job effectively.

Variety :-

When the same job is repeated again and again it leads to burden and monotony. This leads to lack of interest and carelessness on the job. Therefore, while preparing job design certain amount of variety must be provided to keep the person interested in the job.

Goals of Job Design

Goals of job design

Goals can be in many difference areas and include:

Task Variety

To alleviate boredom, avoid both excessive static body positions and repetitive movements. Design jobs to have a variety of tasks that require changes in body position, muscles used, and mental activities.

Two methods are job enlargement and job rotation. For example, if an employee normally assembles parts, the job may be enlarged to include new tasks such as work planning, inspection / quality control, or maintenance. Alternatively, the tasks may include working in the same department, but changing tasks every hour. For example, in a laundry facility employees can rotate between various stations (sorting, washer, dryer, iron, etc) as long as it provides for a change in physical or mental expenditure.

Work Breaks / Rest Breaks

Rest breaks help alleviate the problems of unavoidable repetitive movements or static body positions. More frequent but shorter breaks (sometimes called "micro breaks") are sometimes preferable to fewer long breaks.

During rest breaks, encourage employees to change body position and to exercise. It is important that employees stretch and use different muscle groups. If the employee has been very active, a rest break should include a stationary activity or stretching.

Allowance for an Adjustment Period

When work demands physical effort, have an adjustment period for new employees and for all employees after holidays, layoffs, or illnesses. Allow time to become accustomed to the physical demands of work by gradually "getting in shape." Employees who work in extreme hot or cold conditions also need time to acclimatize.

Provide Training

Training in correct work procedures and equipment operation is needed so that employees understand what is expected of them and how to work safely. Training should be organized, consistent and ongoing. It may occur in a classroom or on the job.

Vary Mental Activities

Tasks should be coordinated so that they are balanced during the day for the individual employee as well as balanced among a group of employees. You may want to allow the employee some degree of choice as to what types of mental tasks they want to do and when. This choice will allow the employee to do tasks when best suited to their 'alertness' patterns during the day. Some people may prefer routine tasks in the morning (such as checklists or filling in forms) and save tasks such as problem solving until the afternoon, or vice versa.

Methods of job design

There are various methods in which job design can be carried out. These methods help to analysis the job, to design the contents of the and to decide how the job must be carried out .these methods are as follows :-

Job rotation

Job enlargement

Job enrichment

Work Design (Job Engineering)

Job Rotation :Job rotation involves shifting a person from one job to another, so that he is able to understand and learn what each job involves. The company tracks his performance on every job and decides whether he can perform the job in an ideal manner. Based on this he is finally given a particular posting.

Job rotation is done to decide the final posting for the employee e.g. Mr. A is assigned to the marketing department whole he learns all the jobs to be performed for marketing at his level in the organization .after this he is shifted to the sales department and to the finance department and so on. He is finally placed in the department in which he shows the best performance.Job rotation gives an idea about the jobs to be performed at every level. Once a person is able to understand this he is in a better understanding of the working of organization

Advantages of job rotation

Avoids monopoly :-

Job rotation helps to avoid monopoly of job and enable the employee to learn new things and therefore enjoy his job

Provides an opportunity to broaden one’s knowledge :-

Due to job rotation the person is able to learn different job in the organization this broadens his knowledge

Avoiding fraudulent practice :-

In an organization like bank jobs rotation is undertaken to prevent employees from doing any kind of fraud i.e. if a person is handling a particular job for a very long time he will be able to find loopholes in th system and use them for his benefit and indulge ( participate ) in fraudulent practices job rotation avoids this.

Disadvantages of Job Rotation

Frequent interruption :-

Job rotation results in frequent interruption of work .A person who is doing a particular job and get it comfortable suddenly finds himself shifted to another job or department this interrupts the work in both the departments

Reduces uniformity in quality :-

Quality of work done by a trained worker is different from that of a new worker .when a new worker I shifted or rotated in the department, he takes time to learn the new job, makes mistakes in the process and affects the quality of the job.

Misunderstanding with the union member :-

Sometimes job rotation may lead to misunderstanding with members of the union. The union might think that employees are being harassed and more work is being taken from them. In reality this is not the case.

Job Enlargement

Job enlargement is another method of job design when any organization wishes to adopt proper job design it can opt for job enlargement. Job enlargement involves combining various activities at the same level in the organization and adding them to the existing job. It increases the scope of the job. It is also called the horizontal expansion of job activities.

Job enlargement can be explained with the help of the following example - If Mr. A is working as an executive with a company and is currently performing 3 activities on his job after job enlargement or through job enlargement we add 4 more activities to the existing job so now Mr. A performs 7 activities on the job.

It must be noted that the new activities which have been added should belong to the same hierarchy level in the organization. By job enlargement we provide a greater variety of activities to the individual so that we are in a position to increase the interest of the job and make maximum use of employee’s skill. Job enlargement is also essential when policies like VRS are implemented in the company.

Advantages of job enlargement

Variety of skills :-

Job enlargement helps the organization to improve and increase the skills of the employee due to organization as well as the individual benefit.

Improves earning capacity :-

Due to job enlargement the person learns many new activities. When such people apply foe jobs to other companies they can bargain for more salary.

Wide range of activities :-

Job enlargement provides wide range of activities for employees. Since a single employee handles multiple activities the company can try and reduce the number of employee’s. This reduces the salary bill for the company.

Disadvantages of job enlargement

Increases work burden :-

Job enlargement increases the work of the employee and not every company provides incentives and extra salary for extra work. Therefore the efforts of the individual may remain unrecognized.

Increasing frustration of the employee :-

In many cases employees end up being frustrated because increased activities do not result in increased salaries.

Problem with union members :-

Many union members may misunderstand job enlargement as exploitation of worker and may take objection to it.

Job Enrichment

Job enrichment is a term given by Fedric herzberg. According to him a few motivators are added to a job to make it more rewarding, challenging and interesting. According to herzberg the motivating factors enrich the job and improve performance.

In other words we can say that job enrichment is a method of adding some motivating factors to an existing job to make it more interesting. The motivating factors can be

1.Giving more freedom.

2.Encouraging participation.

3.Giving employees the freedom to select the method of working.

4.Allowing employees to select the place at which they would like to work

5.Allowing workers to select the tools that they require on the job.

6.Allowing workers to decide the layout of plant or office.

Job enrichment gives lot of freedom to the employee but at the same time increases the responsibility. Some workers are power and responsibility hungry. Job enrichment satisfies the needs of the employees.

Advantages of job enrichment

Interesting and challenging job :-

When a certain amount of power is given to employees it makes the job more challenging for them, we can say that job enrichment is a method of employee empowerment.

Improves decision making :-
Through job enrichment we can improve the decision making ability of the employee by asking him to decide on factory layout, method and style of working.

Identifies future managerial caliber :-

When we provide decision making opportunities to employees, we can identify which employee is better that other in decision making and mark employees for future promotion.

Identifies higher order needs of employees :-

This method identifies higher order needs of the employee. Abraham maslow’s theory of motivation speaks of these higher order needs e.g. ego and esteemed needs, self actualization etc. These needs can be achieved through job enrichment.

Reduces work load of superiors :-

Job enrichment reduces the work load of senior staff. When decisions are taken by juniors the seniors work load is reduced.

Disadvantages of job enrichment

Job enrichment is based on the assumptions that workers have complete knowledge to take decisions and they have the right attitude. In reality this might not be the case due to which there can be problems in working.

Job enrichment has negative implications ie. Along with usual work decision making work is also given to the employees and not many may be comfortable with this.

Superiors may feel that power is being taken away from them and given to the junior’s. This might lead to ego problems.

This method will only work in certain situations. Some jobs already give a lot of freedom and responsibility; this method will not work for such jobs.

Some people are internally dissatisfied with the organization. For such people no amount of job enrichment can solve the problem.

Job Design

Job design refers to the way that a set of tasks, or an entire job, is organized. Job design helps to determine:

  • what tasks are done,
  • how the tasks are done,
  • how many tasks are done, and
  • in what order the tasks are done.
"A well designed job will encourage a variety of 'good' body positions, have reasonable strength requirements, require a reasonable amount of mental activity, and help foster feelings of achievement and self-esteem".

Today’s organizations are more complex, more flexible, and have flatter structures. So it’s critical to ensure that the jobs within your organization are designed to reap business strategy rewards efficiently and cost-effectively.

Hay Group, with its unmatched research and six-plus decades of working with clients, understands the value that well-designed jobs add to any organization. For example, well-designed jobs show a clear correlation to the effectiveness of the World’s Most Admired Companies. They also are a driver of superior performance. And, when coupled with an effective organizational structure, well-designed jobs can reduce direct employment costs by 10% or more.

Hay Group’s approach to job analysis and design brings significant benefits:

  • Organizational strategy—not politics, history or arbitrary decisions—drive job design.
  • Job design emerges from the work people must do in order to deliver on organizational strategy.
  • Jobs evolve from narrow, task-oriented modes to multi-dimensional.
  • Workers are more focused on and accountable for delivering results.
  • We identify and help eliminate jobs that are not adding value.

Hay Group’s foundations spring from our pioneering work measurement efforts. We use this rich expertise to create a structured method in job design, working from the “outside in.” In doing so, we consider three simple questions:

  • What is the strategy designed to achieve?
  • What jobs are needed to deliver that strategy?
  • What capabilities will ensure workforce success?

We help clients design, assess, and describe jobs in ways that improve their contribution to business success, using a variety of tools and techniques to:

  • Understand how strategy is translated into work processes;
  • Identify key activities;
  • Define the work flow; and
  • Understand the skills and abilities individuals will need to be successful in the job.

Based on that information, we design jobs that are “doable,” with clearly defined accountability for delivering results, and with optimum problem-solving and know-how levels.

Most of all, we focus on designing jobs that add value and are clearly connected to business strategy. Our approach to job analysis and design is used globally, in all types and sizes of organizations and cultures.

Through the decades, thousands of organizations in the public and private sectors have asked us to analyze and design more effective, productive jobs, and add value by improving accountability, increasing productivity, and reducing employment costs.

The vast majority of Canadians say that they want work that is interesting, meaningful and allows for ability and skill development. Providing this kind of work means taking a close look at how jobs are designed. For example, by organizing work into teams, or making better use of job rotation and cross training strategies, employers can better meet the expectations that Canadians have of work. As well, job rotation and multi-skilling (training employees to perform a wider range of tasks) can provide workers with better opportunities to use their skills, greater variety in their working day, and more say over how they perform their work. Such strategies can also help improve a firm’s capacity to adapt to changing markets through a more skilled and flexible workforce. At least that’s what research suggests. In light of the potential benefits to be reaped by redesigning jobs in a more flexible manner, how common are such practices in Canadian workplaces? Are some firms better suited to organize work differently than others? Are there notable differences in the organization of work by industry or by region?

Define job design to increase productivity

EMPLOYEES today no more hold jobs which require them to handle a single task and work within set boundaries. With companies expanding, subject matter increasing and the scope widening, one often finds that our job tasks do not revolve around a single work allotment. It is often a combination and a mix 'n match of varied tasks, which makes up a single job post.

Your job could also entail you to take on inter-related elements, which broaden the job outlook. Your area of specialisation might be the central subject of work, but certain amount of variance does enter your work. This is due to the multi-displinarity of job tasks and scope of particular posts. At the end of the day, your job must be in co-ordination with that of your colleagues and other employees of your company.

Nevertheless, when the tasks a job requires are diverse, one is often confused about what exactly one does for the organisation or what the exact field of work is. To counter this chaos and to make it to work in favour of the organisation, defining your job is vital. This is a HR focal point, which is termed as 'Job Design'. This translates into meaning that job integration could be productive for the organization, if employees are enlightened and informed about why certain tasks are integrated, and the exact importance of their tasks to the organisation. Primarily, it is important to look into what are the varied factors that influence the integration of specific tasks in your workload.

Structure: As the first step, analysing the essential structure of a job is taken up. Every job requires working on the lines of planning a task, implementing the planned framework and finally, organising the executed task. Once this is comprehended, matching the three with the ultimate requirements of your company is needed.

Ergonomics: With stress-related disorders becoming very common, organisations are looking to plan and design jobs, with special importance being given to physical conditions and limitations of workers. Therefore, designing jobs as per the physical qualities and characteristics of the workers helps develop comfort, maintenance of health and thereby better productivity.

Work output: Having the knowledge about the role your organisation plays in the market, the products and services it renders to consumers and the like, helps evolve a set pattern of work among employees, as they work towards attaining the output needed. If the content of output is known, it could motivate workers to work towards achieving that target. Similarly, the quality of the products and the final costs they would garner is to be kept in mind, while deciding how much work you need to put in, in which spheres and what would be the result. Once a set pattern is seen, it can be worked upon to chalk out the job design of different posts.

Practices: Over a period of time, there has been an evolution of particular modes of performing certain tasks. Traditional ways of working have been combined with modern psychologically and professionally tested modes of work. This again exudes a pattern of work, which when observed can help frame job designs for varied posts.

Society and environment: The social setting plays an important role in affecting the way a person perceives his job. Certain beliefs and traditional approaches can differ from place to place. Besides this, the technological settings rule the disposition of a job. It is important to consider the same, in designing the job of an employee, to create an understanding and a cooperative work setting.

How can job design help with the organization of work?

Job design principles can address problems such as:

  • work overload,
  • work underload,
  • repetitiveness,
  • limited control over work,
  • isolation,
  • shiftwork,
  • delays in filling vacant positions,
  • excessive working hours, and
  • limited understanding of the whole job process.

Job design is sometimes considered as a way to help deal with stress in the workplace.

What are features of "good" job design?

Good job design accommodates employees' mental and physical characteristics by paying attention to:

  • muscular energy such as work/rest schedules or pace of work, and
  • mental energy such as boring versus extremely difficult tasks.

Good job design:

  • allows for employee input. Employees should have the option to vary activities according to personal needs, work habits, and the circumstances in the workplace.
  • gives employees a sense of accomplishment.
  • includes training so employees know what tasks to do and how to do them properly.
  • provides good work/rest schedules.
  • allows for an adjustment period for physically demanding jobs.
  • provides feedback to the employees about their performance.
  • minimizes energy expenditure and force requirements.
  • balances static and dynamic work.

Job design is an ongoing process. The goal is to make adjustments as conditions or tasks change within the workplace.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Job Specification

Job Specification

Job specification or men specification or employee specification is a statement of the minimum acceptable human qualities required for the performance of a job.it is a written record of physical,mental and social psychological, and behavioral characteristics which a person should possess in order to perform the job effectively. Physical characteristics include height,weight,chest,vision,hearing,health,age,voice,poise,hand and foot coordination, etc. Mental characteristics consist of general intelligence,Memory judgment,ability to concentrate,foresight, etc. Social and psychological characteristics comprise emotional stability,flexibility,personal appearance,pleasing manner, initiative, drive,conversational ability,etc. other personal characteristics include sex,education, family background, job experience, extra-curricular activities,hobbies etc. All these taints may be classified into three categories:

1) Essential attributes which a person must process.
2)Desirable attributes which a person ought to posses.
3)Contra-indicators which will become a handicap to successful job performance.

Job specification tells what kind of person required for a given job.It serve as a guide in a recruitment and selection process.It is also help in training and appraisal of the employee.Job specification is criticized on the ground that it is restrictive in an nature as it resricts the development of individual in the job. Organisation generally tend to specify reletively high requirements for formal education and training with the result that highly qualified personnel end up doing routine jobs. Despite these problems it is necessary for every one job the minimum acceptable human qulalities.

Job Specification of Compensation Manager

Position Title : Manager,Wage and Salary Administration

Department : Human Resource Division

Education & Training : a) Abachelor degree good with at least 50 percent marks

b) MBA with specialisation in HRM/MA social work
Diploma in HRM

c) A degree or diploma in labour law will be additional desirable qualification

Experience : At least five years experience in a similar position in a large
organisation of repute.

Age : Preferably above 30 Years and below 45 years.

Other Attributes : a) Good Health
b) Pleasing Manners
c) Fluency in speaking and writing
d) Analytical and decision making skills.
e) Ability to work long hours.
f) Innovative Approach
g) Good knowledge of computer applications

Difference Between Job Description and Job Specification

Job Description and Job Specification-both are interrelated as well as important tool in the job
Study,They are important by products of job Analysis. They both serve as a a basis for scientific selection,promotion,training and development programmers. But they are quite different in nature. A job description is the standard of the job while a job specification is the main specification. Job Description tells what is to be done and what is nature of job ; on the other hand ,job specification tell us what quality are needs in the prospective job holder.

Job Description : A statement containing such items as:

-Job Title
-Summary of duties
-Detailed statement of work performed
-Tools,equipment machine
-Material used
-Working conditions
-Relation to other jobs

Job Specification : A statement of the human qualifications necessary to do the job.
Usually Contains such items as :
-Specials aptitude
-Analysis and judgment ability
-Mental and visual demand
-Emotional Characteristics