Job Design Practices
The Importance of Motivation in Job Design Practices
The Importance of Motivation in Job Design Practice
When we speak of good design practices, we are referring to a critical and conscious way of attentively performing one’s tasks, as well as anticipating consequences for others. In this sense, job design practices are the ones in charge of keeping the interactions between employees and their tasks flowing. (Lauche, 2005).
There are four approaches to job design, in this essay, we shall approach them, and contrast their relevance in the worker’s performance. In order to avoid excessive citing, all the following design approaches were taken from Campion & Thayer, 2001
Job Design Approaches
1- Mechanistic job design approach. This approach stems from the scientific school of management. The mechanistic job approach emphasizes efficiency above everything else. Most workplaces with the mechanistic approach are likely to be staffed by any person with minimal training, and since the mental workload is minimal, stress is less likely to occur. On the other hand, employees tend to feel less motivated, and absenteeism is high among the workers
2- Motivational job design approach. The motivational approach comes from the idea of highly motivational jobs that can rend more satisfaction to the employees. Technical and craft-related jobs would be considered motivational, as they are rewarding and satisfactory regarding the skills used. In the same way, managerial positions are also considered motivational. The downside of this approach is that since the training is longer, and the mental demands, higher, major errors can be committed.
3- Biological job design approach. This approach derives from the science of biomechanics and ergonomics. It intends to find people jobs suitable to their physical capacities. Jobs with a biological approach are less tiring and require less physical effort. It is possible that this trend could cause biological works to be more motivational and satisfying than the mechanistic. In the same way, it is the biological approach the one who has made substantial changes to equipment design so women can perform accordingly in heavy jobs.
4- Perceptual job design practices. This practice focuses on the mental processing of the information, as well as the way people processes information. This design makes sure that people’s mental capacities are not exceeded, in order to limit accidents and the error likehood. This design, like the mechanistic, intends to reduce the mental workload of the jobs, so they can also reduce stress levels. In this light, since the jobs are not mentally stimulating, they can report low satisfaction.
Core Job Characteristics
According to the job characteristics, in order for the employee motivation to be kept high, the employments should have this characteristics.
1- Skill Variety: This refers on how, and to which extent the employees use different skills and talents while performing their jobs. Dull jobs, report less satisfaction
2- Task Identity: This characteristic refers to how the job can be completed as a whole, or if the employee is only completing a piece of a bigger assignment. In this sense, jobs would be more fulfilling if the employees know that they are contributing to the bigger picture, rather than to only a small part.
3- Task Significance: The degree of importance of a certain job to the organization. Jobs that are petty, or non-significant, report less satisfaction.
4- Autonomy: The more autonomous the worker is in fulfilling his tasks, the more satisfied it will feel.
5- Job Feedback: It refers to the extent on which the employees provide feedback on how well, or not, the employee is performing its duty.
Motivational Strategies through Job Design
Here we will describe three strategies found in the Management Study Guide (MSG)
1- Job Rotation: It refers to the extent in which employees are moved from one job to another. This helps in reducing boredom and creates a flexible workforce.
2- Job Enlargement: By increasing the number of tasks that employees have to fulfill, it helps in improving their flexibility, and efficiency.
3- Alternate Work Schedule: By allowing the workers to fulfill their duties in different forms, instead of assisting to the office, they can balance their work with their personal time. This helps them in becoming more motivated, as they can perform their duties in a way they see fit.
I remember working in a fast food chain, I consider it was mechanistic in its job design approach. It was mechanistic because the duties were quite dull and repetitive, however, I was younger and it seemed like a good idea to be there. We were efficient workers but were not motivated, the outcome was that one day, I was performing my burger-flipping duty almost automatically and got burned, after that incident I did not return there. I realize that despite absent-minded chores can be easy, they are everything but fulfilling.
ReferencesCampion, M. (n.d.). Job Design: Approaches, Outcomes, And Trade-offs. Organizational Dynamics, 66-79. Retrieved April 16, 2015.
Job Design Practices and Performance Management (Job Design Practices and Performance Management)
Lauche, K. (n.d.). Job design for good design practice. Design Studies, 191-213. http://www.abdn.ac.uk/iprc/documents/Job_design_for_good_design_practice.pdf
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