Repetitive work for 8 hours a day, day after day can often cause health problems for employees as well as lead to ineffectiveness. In order to reduce the negative impact of monotonous jobs, improve the organization of tasks to streamline efficiency, job design concept was introduced. Job design and work organization is the specification of the contents, method and relationships of jobs to satisfy technological and organizational requirements as well as the personal needs of job holders (Accel Team). Job design is about the ways to organize a set of tasks, or an entire job. Some argue that job design improves workers’ motivation and dedication to work. However, at a closer examination, job design can only contribute to the better efficiency within an organization, eliminate some health problems, but will not impact employee morale and enthusiasm at work.
Rearranging activities can help alleviate fatigue and/or boredom according to Environmental Health and Safety Office (University of Toronto). For example, ergonomically designed workstations will not eliminate all problems for individuals who continuously perform repetitive, monotonous work. Generally, health complaints can be significantly reduced if workers are given a variety of tasks, and some control over their work.
Approaches to job design improvement include job enlargement, job rotation, job enrichment and work design. Job enlargement includes more and different tasks. Job enlargement may or may not give employees more responsibility but should increase interest to the work. Job rotation assumes moving employees from one task to another, distributing the group tasks among a number of employees. Job enrichment allows employees to assume more accountability, responsibility, and independence when learning new tasks and allows for greater participation and new opportunities. Work design allows employees to see how the work methods, handling procedures, and work layout are linked together as well as the interaction between machines and people.
Currently companies offer job design consulting services, which cover writing job descriptions, constructing job competencies, determining standards of performance, designing effective reward packages, drawing up employment contracts. (Business and Training Solutions Ltd.). As one can see, the primary role of job design approaches is to speed up the processes and make the most out of every employee’s work. Thus employee morale and motivation are not the primary focus and result of the job design concept application, although they may appear as a side-effect.
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