7 important characteristics of job design for your organisation

A practical and logical framework of the goal helps to develop human resources and organizational behaviour.

Management by objectives has taken the present form of management approach, starting from goal setting.

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Framing of goals:

Framing of goals is a technique which is scientifically used in management. Edwin. A.Locke and T. A. Rajan have developed the theory of goal setting, although they have accredited this pioneer work to Frederick W. Taylor, who used goal setting as a motivation theory.

It is now an accepted fact that goal setting plays a crucial role in human behaviour. An employee’s performance and satisfaction depends on how the goals are formulated and how they are to be achieved within a specified time by using the minimum of resources.

The goals are viewed by employees from the value, valence and consequence angles. Employees develop not only abstract thinking but also attach sentiments and feelings to the goals which become a cognitive determinant of their behaviour in the organization. Employees prefer to achieve goals for their self satisfaction.

Similarly, if goals to be achieved are against their intentions and desires, they become dissatisfied, causing malfunctioning of organization.

The management has to consider the emotions, desires and merits of the employees while framing the goals of the organization.

In other words, employees who are most suited to a particular goal should be assigned the particular job. Framing of a goal is related to the employee’s satisfaction and the performance of an organization.

The goal setting theory of Edwin A. Locke has considered values and value judgement, emotions, desires, intentions or goals, responses, actions, performance, consequences, feedback and reinforcement.

This theory is based on the expectancy theory of motivation which states that, ‘Achieved goals provide satisfaction’.

It is an effective motivational approach. Researchers have revealed that there is a close link between goal setting and performance.

Therefore, goals must be specific in terms of time, place, person, units and quality so that employees are specifically assured of correct performance.

A goal must be approachable and free from a cumbersome achievement process. Often, challenging goals are more satisfying than simple goals.

Goals should be framed through the free consent of employees and management. The participative theory becomes effective for goal achievement because employees prefer to perform goals framed with their consent rather than imposed on them by their superiors.

While preparing goals, the past feedback of the employees in context on the task accomplishment and satisfaction should be given due consideration.

Review and assessment of the goals are essential for arriving at a final decision which is used for directing employees to perform better to improve corporate performance, besides giving them job satisfaction.

Management by objectives (MBO):

Management by Objectives has developed as a technique. Peter Drucker for the first time explored Management by Objectives for achieving improved organizational performance and employee satisfaction.

As management principles are widely accepted, the MBO is spreading to cover even non­business organizations to manage their performance as systematic setting of objectives and goals lead to better results.

The setting of overall objectives is done by management after considering strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats.

The key functional areas are identified first to formulate overall objectives. Key functional areas are those which have the maximum impact on the overall performance.

The key functional areas’ performances are to be evaluated to understand their contribution to the organization.

The objectives are generally used as measuring scales of performance. The inputs required for achieving the objectives are also appraised.

Time and money factors are crucial for result oriented performances. The development of objectives for key functional areas and organization consequently are pre-requisites for developing departmental objectives.

The department goals are guiding factors for deciding on branch goals. Readjustment of departmental and sectional objectives is essential to arrive at practical and feasible objectives. The individual supervisor’s objectives are developed based on sectional objectives.

The employee-supervisor relationship is also discussed while formulating their objectives. The supervisor’s objectives, usually known as targets, are quantifiable, feasible, time and cost-oriented. Their performances are judged on these bases.

Corporate objectives are achieved through corporate plans and strategies. Similarly, departmental, sectional and individual objectives are achieved through departmental plans, sectional plans and action plans respectively.

The performance achieved is compared with the objectives to find out the position, cause’s and constraints of achievements in the areas of organizational performance and employees’ satisfaction. The appraisal system is diagnostic rather than purely evaluative.

The suggestions are brought forward through mutual discussion and personal considerations. These are perpetual functions, e.g. deciding objectives, plan formations, actions, evaluation, diagnosis and reformulation of objectives, plans, actions and suggestions.

Goal setting is the first and final step in job designing. The jobs are framed, described and allocated as per the goals set by the organization which are achieved by the employees.

The deviations between performance and goals are diagnosed and improved goals are set for further improvement of organizational performance and employee’s satisfaction.

2. Job content:

Job content defines the general nature of the task, which includes task variety, identity, significance, autonomy and complexity.

Task variety:

A job involves a number of varieties for which different skills are used for effective performance.

It allows employees to perform different operations using different skills. Task variety requires different skills and abilities.

High variety tasks are challenging because of a larger range of skills involved in them. A repetitive task does not require a variety of skills and it becomes monotonous.

Variety provides satisfaction, a sense of competence and a chance to demonstrate employee’s skills.

Task identity:

The second component of job content is task identity. A small part is assigned to employees who are unable to identify the total product developed with their efforts.

They get satisfaction when they see the product as their own creation. Since they perform only a part of the total job, they do not get a sense of satisfaction.

When the whole product or an identifiable part of the product is produced by employees, task identity is established. If employees can identify the task or product completed, they get satisfaction.

Task identity provides satisfaction because employees feel proud “I / We have performed the task.” For example, if a mason has built a house, he feels proud and satisfied that he has built a very good house which is appreciated by people.

Task identification is essential because it gives a feeling of completion and sense of satisfaction. Task identity will be high if employees perceive more satisfaction at the completion of the task.

Task significance:

Task significance refers to the impact on others as perceived by employees. For example, employees producing life saving medicines feel satisfied that they are contributing to the cause of social-health.

They are proud of the job because it has social, human and economic significance. If the task is not perceived as significant, employees do not get satisfaction and do not behave properly.

In an organization, if the employees are asked to go from one machine to another during job performance, while they can complete the task on one machine, they find this moving task insignificant.

They may revolt against the supervisor. If employees find their task significant, from social, organizational and other angles, they devote all their abilities and time to it.

Task significance is perceived by employees in many cases, but if employees are not fully aware of the significance of the task, they should be made to realize the significance through demonstration and practical observation.

Task autonomy:

Employees feel satisfied if they are given freedom to perform the task in their own way.

If they have discretion and control over task decision and performance, they build a sense of responsibility on performance.

Employees are not willing to work beyond the constraints of the organization, but they want some sort of autonomy of the task wherein they can demonstrate their abilities and importance.

Goal setting with the consultation of employees provides task autonomy because here employees get opportunities to participate in decisions.

Task complexities:

Employees perceive some jobs as very complex and beyond performance, although in practice these jobs are not so difficult. Similarly, some tasks are considered very simple. Many employees get satisfaction while completing complex tasks.

They feel bored while performing simple and routine jobs. Facilities of feedback help understand employees’ inclinations towards their jobs. Feedback provision is essential for improving employee’s satisfaction and corporate performances.

3. Job Functions:

Job content helps the employees to perform their jobs. Job context is similarly important to understand the relationships with other tasks.

Job functions include job responsibility, authority, information flow, work method and coordination.

An employee becomes a member of the organization from the moment he enters the organization.

The organization has certain responsibilities towards employee’s upkeep and development, because it gets their contributions.

Both parties invest in each other and expect certain things in return. If employees fail to discharge their responsibilities, the organization exercises its authority to control them.

The authority and responsibilities are interwoven and are discharged depending on each other’s compliances.

Information flow, work methods and coordination help efficient and sufficient performances. If employees are provided with necessary economic, operational and managerial information, they perform their jobs better than those who have scant information.

4. Job relations:

The nature of relationships with superiors and subordinates influence the performance and satisfaction.

It strengthens teamwork. While designing a job, adequate attention is paid to job relations. It is the interpersonal relationship which shapes the future of the organization.

If the relationship is congenial and helpful, an organization will develop. The corporal’s performance and employees’ satisfaction depend mainly upon the friendly relationships in the organization, teamwork, initiations and interaction of employees with other employees and also with the supervisor and higher level managers.

5. Job techniques:

Job design includes job techniques, viz. job enrichment, enlargement, rotation and re-engineering. These points help to develop quality of work life (QWL).

The job scope has two dimensions-breadth and depth. Job breadth is the number of different tasks, while job depth is related more to power, responsibilities and control. Job techniques are developed to benefit employees, the organization and society.

6. Task accomplishment:

The jobs are designed to accomplish tasks, which are mainly related to productivity, effectiveness, economy and efficiency.

The production per unit of input should constantly increase for the development of an organization.

Effectiveness is related to the achievement of objectives. Economy and efficiency are respectively concerned with financial and human resources management. The job should be designed in such a way as to achieve these tasks.

7. Employee responses:

Employee responses have been discussed under job satisfaction, turnover and absenteeism. Job design has a direct impact on these points. Poor designs cause low satisfaction, high absenteeism and low turnover.

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