Job Design


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  • Job Design by Amy Medica, for Operation Management class 345 at Boise State University, Idaho.
  • There are many theories on job design, from Taylor to Deming to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Gilberths, and Gantt, and many more, all of which seem to have been synthesized, into what we have today, bleeding into each other. Fitting all these theories into a 30 slide show would only come up short of what we are trying to achieve.
  • Good job design should curb absenteeism and turnover while increasing productivity and employee satisfaction; The organization should become more efficient. If the job’s design is poor, which would be evident by lack of job satisfaction, production will be adversely affected that is why everything is contingent on job satisfaction.
  • Job design sounds great but there are things such as the cons of adding additional tasks, for example, this may demotivate specialists; there is also a learning curve to worry about and training costs, which means less production in the short term, however we must be aware of the pros. They are after all the reasons behind the reasoning of our Job Design in the first place. We must always try to have hindsight before we have seen.
  • The theories, like the job design tools, all bleed into each other creating an ever changing experiment whose goal is that of perfection.
  • The theories, like the job design tools, all bleed into each other creating an ever changing experiment whose goal is that of perfection.
  • For our purposes I will assume that I’m teaching a group of five. If there are five or fewer people than that is a group, if there are more than five people than groups of 3 will work too, use your judgment.
  • The idea is to recognize and be aware of past and present work experiences so as to learn from them; these firsthand experiences are great ways to get a better grip on job design.
  • When brainstorming you should let everything come out; don’t censor your own thoughts. It is important to let things flow. The reasoning behind this is that we never know where a good idea may come from; the last thing we want to happen is to let a great idea be smothered because we think it is stupid, or worry about what others may think, nonsense.
  • Skill variety, task variety, task significance, autonomy are all included in job enlargement, enrichment, and rotation; I chose not to be redundant by repeating them in the Inner workings slide. Many of these tools are closely related if not nearly the same, i.e. job enlargement creates more task variety, which means the worker can rotate jobs, which of course would mean they have greater skill variety, which creates a great sense of empowerment and autonomy. Job rotation can help create greater self-worth because it involves learning new skills and becoming more educated, which are two things to feel good about. Our book has job enrichment as part of job Enlargement, as I said above they actually bleed into each other.
  • Job design, as I see it, is a way to create harmony between, what some times seem to be opposing forces, namely upper management and everyone else. In theory, job design, when it works, should give us the best opportunity to satisfy all parties involved.
  • Visioneering LLC is a computer animation company that operates out of Maryland. The owners are friends of mine.
  • There is a different dictionary of terms that pertains to each type of software. It is difficult to communicate when everyone speaks a different language.
  • Having everyone trained on all the software made a huge difference for this three person business. Not only did it allow for streamlined work, but it also meant that one person could do the job of another, so if some one was sick or had to take the kids to the doctor work would not come to a halt.
  • One of the greatest benefits of the change was their ability to share in the excitement of the process. In the past when they wanted to share something that took them forever to create, the response was less than motivating, but now they really get excited for each other’s success.
  • One of the problems with something like job design is that it requires change; people often fear change. However, if they can experience the change firsthand than they too will believe in it. Here is an exercise that can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be; the choice is yours. I want the people I’m teaching quality improvement concepts to believe in what I’m teaching. That is why I want them to see how job design can be used on a personal level.
  • While these changes may not appear to relate to an actual “job” they are actually very applicable. Her job is to learn how to play the guitar. The company she works for is the Thursday group. Her success is the groups success. This exercise should help us get a better understanding of job design in theory and practice.
  • As I said in the previous notes, job design can be used outside of the work a day world, indeed, it can help substantially in everyday affairs.
  • Let’s finish up by taking five minutes or so to discuss job design tools and your solutions.
  • Job Design

    1. 1. Job Design By: Munif Ahmad
    2. 2. What Will Be Covered <ul><li>The topic </li></ul><ul><li>The tools </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorming </li></ul><ul><li>Inner workings </li></ul><ul><li>How it works </li></ul><ul><li>A real world example </li></ul><ul><li>An exercise (Visioneering LLC (Brunei) Sdn. Bhd) </li></ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul>
    3. 3. What is Job Design? <ul><li>By using a variety of tools and techniques we try to find the best way to keep employees satisfied while maintaining as high as possible productivity, monetary or otherwise. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Job Design <ul><li>What is the goal of Job design? </li></ul><ul><li>The goal is job satisfaction, it is the key to successful job design. Everything is contingent upon job satisfaction. </li></ul>
    5. 5. The Topic <ul><li>We will engineer a job design by using previous work experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>We will briefly discuss the resistance to change. And discuss a few of the pros and cons of our actions. </li></ul>
    6. 6. The Tools <ul><li>Job enlargement </li></ul><ul><li>Job rotation </li></ul><ul><li>Job enrichment </li></ul><ul><li>Skill variety </li></ul>
    7. 7. The Tools cont’ <ul><li>Task variety </li></ul><ul><li>Task significance </li></ul><ul><li>Compensation </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomy: level of freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback: lucid communication on performance </li></ul>
    8. 8. Brainstorming Exercise <ul><li>Break up into groups of three to five people. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Designate a note taker. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose one person to speak for the group. </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Brainstorming cont’ <ul><li>Discuss your past jobs, specifically those that you did not like. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose one job from the entire group that was or is most disliked. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>That job is going to be the focal point of your brainstorming session. </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Brainstorming cont’ <ul><li>Use your imagination… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why did you dislike this job? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What were some of the negative effects of working in an unsatisfying job? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. absenteeism, tardiness, sub-par-productivity, depression, sore back, etc… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Did other employees feel the same way you did? </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Brainstorming cont’ <ul><ul><li>How do you think your performance as well as those around you affected the company? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What did you like about this job? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep this in mind for later. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Narrow down your dislikes to list of four. </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Brainstorming cont’ <ul><li>Solutions to your dissatisfaction… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brainstorm on some ideas that would improve this job? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Let your imagination flow; do not censor your ideas, creativity is key. </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Brainstorming cont’ <ul><li>Narrow down your ideas. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discard the ideas that you all agree are not usable; use your best judgment. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose four ideas from these. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Compare your four solutions to your four dislikes. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did you discover four solutions? </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Brainstorming cont’ <ul><li>Implementing your solutions, the pros and cons… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discuss amongst yourselves how you are going to implement these changes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you think you can design a satisfying job with this new information? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will the employees accept your new idea? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are some of the monetary and mental difficulties of implementation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. Learning curves will initially slow down production. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Brainstorming cont’ <ul><li>Keep in mind your solutions as we go through the rest of the presentation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>At the end of the session we will compare your solutions with some of the Job Design topics that follow. </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Nuts and Bolts <ul><li>Job enlargement involves adding more tasks(variety), ideally the worker could do all the tasks involved. This keeps thing interesting. </li></ul><ul><li>Job rotation is exactly that. It requires skill variety. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Nuts and Bolts cont’ <ul><li>Job enrichment gives the employee more responsibility, thus creating a greater level of freedom or autonomy. </li></ul><ul><li>Compensation doesn’t play as large of a part in job satisfaction as we might think, but it does play a part. We want to be paid fairly, whether it is profit sharing, salary, commission, or piece rate. </li></ul>
    18. 18. How It Works <ul><li>Plain and simple </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A happy employee is a productive employee, satisfaction equals production. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It works by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Balancing the organization’s goal(s) with the employees wants and needs, thereby designing a job that creates job satisfaction, which should increase production (companies goal) and satisfy the employee. </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. A Real World Example <ul><li>Visioneering LLC (Brunei) Sdn. Bhd is a new computer animation company with three employees. Each employee knows his or her specific job, however, they have been running into a few problems. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Visioneering LLC (Brunei) Sdn. Bhd. <ul><li>The problem </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They all speak a different computer language, the language of their software. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each employee is trained to use a particular piece of software. Jason knows how to do computer modeling using 3D studio. Ted knows how to use adobe premier. Christa knows a little of both, but most of her time is spent running the business. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of concise communication stalls the work process. </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Visioneering LLC (Brunei) Sdn. Bhd. <ul><li>The solution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have everyone trained on all the software, job enlargement. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What changed? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The first noticeable change wasn’t clearer communication, although that was solved. What really took them by surprise was how much quicker they could get a project done. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They now had more immediate access to information. </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Visioneering LLC (Brunei) Sdn. Bhd. <ul><ul><li>If Jason couldn’t figure out how to do something with the software he could easily ask Christa or Ted; between the three of them they rarely had to take the time to search reference books, or the internet, which takes considerable amounts of time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If a project needed more computer animation they could all work on it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This balanced the work load, and kept one person from feeling like they are doing all the work. </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Visioneering LLC (Brunei) Sdn. Bhd. <ul><li>Now they each have a greater appreciation for what the others do, job enrichment. </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration has helped move from one part of a project to another with greater efficiency. </li></ul><ul><li>Due to their greater efficiency they no longer have as much stress about deadlines. </li></ul>
    24. 24. An Exercise <ul><li>Find one thing in your life that you wish you could do better or more often then apply one or two of the job design tools to it. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, Sarah likes the idea of being able to play the guitar. She has tried teaching herself in the past, now her guitar has become a dust collecting device. </li></ul><ul><li>A few things she didn’t have in the past were variety, feedback, and enrichment. </li></ul>
    25. 25. Exercise <ul><li>A few simple changes and she was on her way again. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First, she joined with a few friends who play the guitar; They get together every Thursday evening. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second, her friends show her new things to try; This variety keeps things fresh and exciting. </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. Exercise <ul><ul><li>Third, she has more motivation to practice throughout the week because she wants to share her improvements with her friends. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fourth, their feedback as well as her feedback make learning the guitar that much more enriching, enrichment through praise and results. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Take this exercise home and put it to work; Try it for yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>What does it all get back to? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employee satisfaction… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Successful job design will take into account: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Skill variety/job rotation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Task variety/job enlargement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Task significance/job enrichment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Autonomy/job enrichment/freedom </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Feedback/cooperation </li></ul></ul></ul>
    27. 27. Summary <ul><li>How do these job design tools fit in with your brainstorming solutions? </li></ul><ul><li>Think about a Job ! </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss about your National Diploma Industrial Attachment. </li></ul>