Job design - Process of job design - Approaches to job design - Theories of job design?

In a very simple sense, job design means the ways that decision-makers choose to organize work responsibilities, duties, activities, and tasks. Job Redesign thus involves changing work responsibilities, duties, activities, and tasks. which is also sometimes called work redesign

Job Design

Job design is the process of Work arrangement (or rearrangement) aimed at reducing or overcoming job dissatisfaction and employee alienation arising from repetitive and mechanistic tasks. Through job design, organizations try to raise productivity levels by offering non-monetary rewards such as greater satisfaction from a sense of personal achievement in meeting the increased challenge and responsibility of one's work. Job enlargement, job enrichment, job rotation, and job simplification are the various techniques used in a job design exercise.

Although job analysis, as just described, is important for an understanding of existing jobs, organizations also must plan for new jobs and periodically consider whether they should revise existing jobs. When an organization is expanding, supervisors and human resource professionals must help plan for new or growing work units. When an organization is trying to improve quality or efficiency, a review of work units and processes may require a fresh look at how jobs are designed.

These situations call for job design, the process of defining the way work will be performed and the tasks that a given job requires, 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). Having a detailed knowledge of the tasks performed in the work unit and in the job, a manager then has many alternative ways to design a job.

As shown in Figure , the available approaches emphasize different aspects of the job: the mechanics of doing a job efficiently, the job's impact on motivation, the use of safe work practices, and the mental demands of the job.

Definitions: -

According to Michael Armstrong, "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 holder and his superior subordinates and colleagues."

Job design is the process of

a) Deciding the contents of the job.

b) Deciding methods & processes to carry out the job.

c) Making optimize use of job/work-time so that job/work-time should not be wasted as time is money and time cannot be earned, but can be saved by making efficient use of it.

d) Avoiding manual task if can be handled by machines or automated.

e) Synchronization of work, and no conflict with other jobs

f) Deciding the relationship which exists in the organization.

Job design gives framework to job analysis as it tries to figure out what qualities, skills and other requirements are needed to perform the given job by a job holder.

Most time wasters in jobs

Nearly 9 in 10 employees (86 %) revealed that they lose time each day on work unrelated to their core job, with 41% of full-time employees wasting more than an hour a day on these extraneous activities, according to a workforce management provider Kronos Incorporated survey. The survey was conducted on 2,800 employees, both full and part, in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Mexico and Britain.

40% of employees waste an hour-plus each day on administrative tasks that do not drive value for their organisation.

The next highest-rated daily tasks for individual contributors is collaborating with

    1. co-workers 42%,

    2. administrative work 35%,

    3. manual labour 33% and

    4. responding to emails 31%.

While HR managers list

    1. attending to meetings 27%,

    2. administrative work 27%,

    3. collaborating with co-workers 26% and

    4. responding to emails 26% as the top ways they spend their workday.

The survey also reveals that full time employees feel

    1. Fixing a problem not caused by me 22%

    2. and administrative work 17% as the top two tasks they waste the most time on at work.

    3. Meetings 12%,

    4. email 11% and

    5. customer issues 11% round out the top five time-wasters.

Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964)

Apparently waste the most time fixing problems caused by someone else 26%, while Gen Z (born between mid-1990s and early 2000s) is least-likely to clean up after others 18%, yet they are most-likely to waste time on handling workplace conflict 9%.

Millennials (generation Y) people born between 1980s and early 1990s

Blame social media as a time-sucker 10% and agree with Gen X (born between early-to-mid 1960s and early 1980s) that meetings 13% are a waste of time.

Gen Z 10% think talking on the phone is a time-waste.

Further, the survey reveals that worldwide 53% of employees feel pressure to work longer hours or pick up extra shifts for career growth. Of those who feel pressure to work longer, 60% put pressure on themselves while the rest say that pressure came from their managers.

Workers in France 66% and India 62% feel by far the most pressure to work longer hours

Employees in Canada 38%, the US 44%, and Australia 47% felt the least amount of pressure.

Nature of Job Design

Identifying the components of a given job is an integral part of job design. Designing or redesigning jobs encompasses many factors, and a number of different techniques are available to the manager. Job design has been equated with job enrichment, a technique developed by Frederick Herzberg, but job design is much broader than job enrichment alone.

Designing Efficient Jobs

If workers perform tasks as efficiently as possible, not only does the organization benefit from lower costs and greater output per worker, but workers should be less fatigued. This point of view has for years formed the basis of classical industrial engineering, which looks for the simplest way to structure work in order to maximize efficiency. Typically, applying industrial engineering to a job reduces the complexity of the work, making it so simple that almost anyone can be trained quickly and easily to perform the job. Such jobs tend to be highly specialized and repetitive.

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. Once the engineers have identified the most efficient sequence of motions, the organization should select workers based on their ability to do the job, then train them in the details of the "one best way" to perform that job. The company also should offer pay structured to motivate workers to do their best.

Despite the logical benefits of industrial engineering, a focus on efficiency alone can create jobs that are so simple and repetitive that workers get bored. Workers performing these jobs may feel their work is meaningless. Hence, most organizations combine industrial engineering with other approaches to job design.

Guidelines for Job Redesign


Track Record

For many candidates, the company's past is of as much importance as its present. A good reputation and track record has a great appeal, after all 'success breeds success'.


As well as competitive pay and a degree of flexibility, offering an attractive benefits package is another thing most candidates look for. Companies offering generous contributions to pension schemes, as well as a sizeable amount of annual leave, tend to be looked on more favourably. Technology Most office-based jobs now involve the use of a computer, at the very least, and as such some candidates might be interested in the technology used and provided by the company. Stipulating whether the organisation provides laptops and smartphones to allow remote working is something that may interest potential employees. Prospects While the past plays a part in a candidate's opinion, they are also often influenced by future prospects -both their own and the company's. The company's business strategy can be telling and most candidates will like to see that it's viable and if the organisation is well-positioned for the future, as this can act as a sign of job security and career progression.

Health Care

Benefits surrounding health and wellbeing are becoming increasingly popular, whether in the form of gym memberships, healthcare schemes or childcare vouchers, for example. Providing such benefits are appealing to prospective employees, but the company also reaps the rewards as a healthy and happy workforce tends to be more committed and effective.


Finding a work-life balance is important and many candidates are looking for an organisation that promotes this idea. Flexible working hours is a massively popular incentive in a job and workplaces that offer this tend to create an employee-centric feel, where staff feel like they are valued, trusted and are recognised for having a life beyond the office.


A good location con be very attractive to prospective employees, with good transport links also being a factor. With improving technology, an increasing number of candidates are also looking for roles with opportunities to work remotely. Admittedly, this isn't something all organisations can offer, but maybe it’s something to consider and perhaps work towards in the future.

Office Environment

Not only do candidates look for organisations which offer the right tools to do their job. but they also look at the work space itself. With technology advancing rapidly and a stronger emphasis being placed on well-being, many employees look for an environment that can also be stimulating, with break out spaces and standing desks, for example, moving higher up people's desires.


Pay can make or break a prospective job, with poor pay being o factor in some candidates turning down job offers. If you're not offering o fair pay package, you probably won't attract the best people for your business. It’s also important to take into account - and to advertise - how much your employee benefits contribute to the annual salary packet.


In addition to o company culture, the values of the organisation in general can be of interest to candidates. A company's values can convey a strong message and it's important for employees to feel like their values are aligned to those of the company. Placing emphasis on the importance of employees and their well-being, and creating a caring culture can make candidates feel that your company is where they want to be.

Company Culture

Fitting into a new workplace is high on most people's agendas and incorporates many aspects, from brand to well-being, management structures and o company's vision. Agreeing with the company's ethos is important, and most candidates wont to feel port of o team working towards the same goal. Fitting in with colleagues is another key factor and knowing that each day. they’ll be coming into on encouraging environment.

Supportive Networks

Many potential employees will hope hove o network of support in the workplace. This con be in the form of mentor schemes or regular check-ins with their line manager and team. Informing candidates about the types of support offered early could influence their view and help reassure them that they would be entering o well-balanced and employee-focused organisation.


Often, candidates will make comparisons with their current or previous role to figure out a number of things, such as whether the new role is a progressive step in their career, how much overlap there is with the previous role to determine their skill set and whether they would see an increase in responsibility. It's no surprise that some people consider on new job owing to shortcomings in their current role and as such look for positions that would allay this dissatisfaction.


Often, candidates will make comparisons with their current or previous role to figure out a number of things, such as whether the new role is a progressive step in their career, how much overlap there is with the previous role to determine their skill set and whether they would see an increase in responsibility. It's no surprise that some people consider o new job owing to shortcomings in their current role and as such look for positions that would allay this dissatisfaction.


When looking at the role itself, candidates mill often consider the opportunity for development. A large number of people want to be challenged in their position, in order to grow and learn, and as such will consider the training that the position offers and the resources that would be available to them. They could also weigh up the likelihood of what impact they’d have in the role and if they can shape its direction.

Approaches to job design



    • Problem with this approach: Repetition-mechanical pacing-no END PRODUCT-LITTLE SOCIAL INTERACTION-NO INPUT


    • The Human relations approach recognized the need to design jobs which are INTERESTING AND REWARDING.

    • Herzberg’s research popularized the notion of enhancing need satisfaction THROUGH WHAT IS CALLED JOB ENRICHMENT.

Factors involved:

    • Motivators like achievement, recognition, work itself, responsibility, advancement AND GROWTH AND HYGIENIC FACTORS.

    • According to Herzberg. The Employee is dissatisfied with the job if required MAINTENANCE FACTORS TO THE REQUIRED DEGREE ARE NOT INTRODUCED INTO THE JOB.


    • Theory by Hackman and Oldham states that employees will work hard when they ARE REWARDED FOR THE WORK THEY DO AND WHEN THE WORK GIVES THEM SATISFACTION.

    • Hence integration of motivation, satisfaction and performance with job design.

    • According to this approach Job can be described in terms of five core job dimensions:

    1. Skill Variety

    2. Task Identity

    3. Task significance

    4. Autonomy

    5. Feedback

Designing Jobs That Motivate

Especially when organizations have to compete for employees, depend on skilled knowledge workers, or need a workforce that cares about customer satisfaction, a pure focus on efficiency will not achieve human resource objectives. These organizations need jobs that employees find interesting and satisfying, and job design should take into account factors that make jobs motivating to employees.

The quest for meaningful work draws people to such career paths as teaching and public service. For example, when Patrick Bernhardt was laid off from his job as a marketing executive, he seized on the chance to switch fields. Bernhardt became a computer science teacher and enrolled in evening classes. When he switched to this job, Bernhardt took a 50 percent pay cut, but he doesn't mind: "This is the hardest thing I've ever done, but the sense of satisfaction makes it worth it."

Facts [+]

A recent Money Magazine and survey of 26,000 workers found that workers who considered themselves extremely satisfied with their jobs were putting in a lot more time at work than others. The most satisfied group in the survey reported eleven more weekly work hours than the least satisfied group. Generally, as satisfaction rose, workers reported longer hours worked.

A job satisfaction study compiled by asked satisfied workers to describe their jobs. The study found that highly satisfied employees consistently listed four factors: intellectual stimulation, job security, high levels of control and autonomy, and direct contact with clients and customers.

A model that shows how to make jobs more motivating is the Job Characteristics Model, developed by Richard Hackman and Greg Oldham. This model describes jobs in terms of five characteristics:

    1. Skill variety. The extent to which a job requires a variety of skills to carry out the tasks involved.

    2. Task identity. The degree to which a job requires completing a "whole" piece of work from beginning to end (e.g., building an entire component or resolving a customer's complaint).

    3. Task significance. The extent to which the job has an important impact on the lives of other people.

    4. Autonomy. The degree to which the job allows an individual to make decisions about the way the work will be carried out.

    5. Feedback. The extent to which a person receives clear information about performance effectiveness from the work itself.

As shown in Figure , the more of each of these characteristics a job has, the more motivating the job will be, according to the Job Characteristics Model. The model predicts that a person with such a job will be more satisfied and will produce more and better work. This approach to designing jobs includes such techniques as job enlargement, job enrichment, self-managing work teams, flexible work schedules, and telework.

Reference : HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Sandra L. Steeh University of Regina Raymond A. Nog Ohio State University John R. Hollenbeck Michigan State University Barry Gerhart University of Wisconsin-Madison Patrick M. Wright Cornel/ University

Companies introducing creative concepts in naming key roles

2012:Corporate India is tossing out the old, stodgy nomenclature in favour of creative, personalised designations. At Bangalore-based start up Teleradiology Solutions, the CEO is called the 'chief pusher', quite simply because he pushes and nudges employees into delivering the goods.

The organisation also has a chief listening officer (HR head) and chief enabler (technology head). "It creates an environment where designations do not matter," says chief dreamer, Sunita Maheshwari.

Companies like Aegis want to prevent any dilution of ethics. Three months ago, they created the post of a 'chief ethics officer', whose job is to keep a check on any kind of fraudulent behaviour.,curpg-2.cms?from=mdr

Theories of job design

The basis for job design theory is organization theory, which can be classified broadly into three strains of thought: the classical, the behavioral, and the situational.

Classical theory

Classical theory was expounded in early writings of Max Weber and Henri Fayol. For the classicist, any organization achieves efficiency through its division of labor. Managers identify the overall purpose of the organization. They then divide this overall purpose into jobs, each rationally related to the whole. Jobs are, in turn, grouped to create work groups, divisions, and departments. Finally, each group is assigned a supervisor, who is responsible for overseeing the work of subordinates and reporting the results to his or her own superior.

Behavioral theory

Behavioral theory is quite different. Unlike the classicist, the behavioralist is much less interested in allocating specific tasks to specific jobs, making sure that the authority matches the position, and then trying to attain higher efficiency through specialization of labor. Behavioralists prefer simple organizational structure, decentralized decision-making, and informal departmentalization. In an organic structure, subordinates feel free to discuss their performance problems with superiors and have a positive view of the organization. They participate in decision-making and communicate with those whose views are needed to solve immediate problems. These characteristics are in stark contrast to conditions in a traditional organization, where subordinates are guarded and negative about the organization, do not feel sufficient trust to communicate openly with those of higher status, and are not permitted to participate in decision-making.

Situational theory

Situational theory differs from both classical and behavioral theories. Advocates stress the influence of the external environment on the allocation of responsibilities and tasks within the organization, work groups, and jobs. Allocating responsibilities and tasks means creating a structure. Appropriate structures differ according to technology, markets, production, research, and information.

Techniques Of Job Design

There are various Techniques /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 -

Methods or Techniques of Job Design