Job Design - Meaning, Importance, Steps & Example

Published by MBA Skool Team in Human Resources Terms Last Updated: May 19, 2023Read time:

What is Job Design?

Job design is the process of structuring a job role into tasks and activities in a way that it aligns with the overall strategy of the organization and making sure that the employee in that role is also motivated and rewarded . The job design takes into account the organizational objectives to be achieved along while trying to minimize on–the-job fatigue, stress and human error. Job Design is done specifically to reduce the mechanical aspects of the job and make sure that the employee derives job satisfaction from the assigned roles and responsibilities.

Job analysis plans the job and analyses the roles and responsibilities which are core to the job but Job design makes the job better and basically updates the job so that it remains relevant. The factors the affect the process of job design are the task characteristics, workflow, ergonomics, work practices, employee abilities and availability, social and cultural expectations and feedback.

Importance of Job Design

Job design is very important because this is the process which makes sure that the job remains updated and is relevant to the employee. The main objective here is to reduce dissatisfaction which comes while doing the job on daily basis.

This dissatisfaction can lead to employee leaving the organization and causing issues for the company. Job design has primary responsibility of regularly updating the job so that it remains absolutely relevant to the company as well as industry.

It makes sure that the job profile is constantly upgrading to become a better job rather than letting it be a monotonous job role.

Job Design Methods

Job design is critical in understanding the various factors of a job like duties, techniques required, hierarchies, skill-sets required, motivation of employees etc. There are several ways in which the requirements of a job can be identified.

Job Design Methods

The main job design methods are mentioned as below:

1. Job Rotation

This method of job design, known as job rotation, is where employees of an organization as exposed to several different roles & profiles across the company.

Employees are rotated across various job profiles and the best-suited roles are identified.

2. Job Simplification

Job design method based on complexity of work can be understood by job simplification.

This involves identifying mechanical processes, repetitive work, one-product development, tools & skills required.

3. Job Enlargement

The job design method of job enlargement adds more tasks & value to an existing job profile.

Apart from the basic skills & abilities required to do the basic work, job enlargement offers more tasks to be performed to the employee

4. Job Enrichment

Job enrichment method of job design looks at enriching the work of the employee by adding more responsibility, value and decision-making powers. This enriches an individual not only professionally but also adds to personal development.

Steps for Better Job Design

In order to have a great job design, certain parameters have to be evaluated for job role.

1. Regular Discussions and Feedback

Constant feedback and discussions should be done with the employees in particular roles to understand what issues they are facing and what can be done to rectify them. These act as inputs for better job design

2. 360 degree Assessment

While evaluating the employee performances, it is important to understand what everyone in the hierarchy is saying.

At a high level, if there are patterns emerging for a particular job role, this means that the role needs to be updated and corrected leading to a better job design

3. Training

Have regular training programs for employees in every role. Training serves 2 purposes. First it keeps the employees updated with the latest trends and concepts in the market which is very important. Secondly training programs also help in better designing the job with the latest frameworks and trends in the industry.

4. Improved Work Life Balance

Work Life balance should be made part of every job role in the organization. This will make sure that proper flexibility and work life balance is included with every job role keeping the employees motivated. Things like work from home, vacation, insurance, variable pay should be made part of the job role so the overall job satisfaction improves. 

Advantages of effective Job Design

Job design is made to essentially understand the tasks & duties to be done by an employee and how he/she can grow at a professional as well as a personal level. Some advantages of job design are:

1. Job design helps create a job profile which can motivate the employees at work place and reduce dissatisfaction.

2. This ensures that the job is simplified or broken down to employees, especially for those who have limited skills and are lesser learned.

3. Effective job design can expose the employees to a wider set of roles and help them understand the best role suited to them.

4. Job enrichment method of design ensures more value addition & decision-making power, which ensures personal as well as professional growth.

5. Job design also sees what training and development is required for employees to increase employee productivity.

6. It can help understand the employee output, efficiency, work-load and the number of hours required for work vs rest.

Disadvantages of Job Design

There are some issues or drawbacks of job designs as well based on the techniques used:

1. Job simplification method of job design can lead to monotonous work and boredom.

2. Job design by enrichment gives too much control too senior employees which can lead to poor results or conflicts with lower staff.

3. Job design by rotation can affect the flow of work & hamper the quality of output.

4. Enlargement can cause employees to lose focus on core competencies.

Job Design Example

Let us take example of a sales department in a B2B company where a new sales representative joins. Now the simple understanding of the work would be that the Sales representative should be calling and meeting potential customers. Eventually he has to close the deals and meet targets.

The job design goes beyond it. It makes sure that not only the work and targets are being met but also the quality of work is good for the sales rep so that he/she is overall happy in the job profile.

Job Design can be as per the following:

1. Onboarding of the Sales rep

2. Overview of the company and the role

3. Training and development of the sales representatives so that they understand the role and products well

4. Assignment of mentor and manager to guide the sales representative to do the job properly and address the concerns

5. As per the performance, job enrichment can be implemented

6. Ability for the sales representative to choose career path after 2 years of good performance

7. Constant review of the sales approach taken by the company and alignment with the overall strategy to keep the job relevant

These are some of the examples which can be incorporated in the Job design.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Job Design along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team which comprises of MBA students, management professionals, and industry experts. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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