Job Redesigning: Types

What is Job Redesigning?

The term job Redesigning refers to activities that involve the alteration of specific jobs (or systems of jobs) with the purpose of improving both productivity and the quality of work experiences of employees.

Typically, job specifications are changed to provide employees with additional responsibilities for planning, setting up, and checking their own work: for making decisions about work methods and procedures; establishing their own work pace; and dealing directly with the clients who receive the results of the work.

In many cases, jobs that previously had been simplified and segmented into many small parts in the interest of production efficiency are reassembled and made into larger and more meaningful wholes.

The simplest form of job redesign, known as job rotation, involves moving employees from one relatively simple job to another after short time intervals. Sometimes work is redesigned to create motivating and satisfying jobs for individual employees who work more or less on their own.

Such activities are usually known as job enrichment. Alternatively, work may be designed as a group task, in which case, a team of workers is given autonomous responsibility for a large and meaningful module of work.

Such teams typically have the authority to manage their own social and performance processes as they see fit. They receive feedback (and often rewards) as a group; and they may even be given the responsibility of the selection, training, and termination of their own members.

Types of Job Redesigning

These teams are variously known as autonomous work groups, self-regulating work groups, or self-managing work groups. Let us discuss each of these types of job redesigning here in detail:

  1. Job Rotation
  2. Job Enlargement
  3. Job Enrichment
  4. Task Design
Types of Job Redesigning
Types of Job Redesigning

Job Rotation

Job rotation is a job redesign strategy that temporarily assigns workers to alternate tasks. For instance, at Cafe Coffee Day, an employee might make coffee one day, serve dishes the next, and handle cash transactions in the following shift. Job rotation offers several benefits.

Firstly, it allows employees to learn new skills, increasing their value to the organization. Secondly, it broadens their perspective on how the organization operates as a whole. Thirdly, it fosters understanding and respect for coworkers’ roles.

Moreover, job rotation reduces the risk of injuries as employees switch tasks. However, a potential drawback is that frequent task changes may lead to reduced job satisfaction and performance, with employees having a superficial understanding of multiple jobs.

Job Enlargement

This process involves increasing the number of tasks performed by each employee. Let us explain with an example. With the enlarged job, a sales representative at Pantaloons arranges merchandise, and places fresh orders, when compared to a floor staff at Pantaloons.

Workers in enlarged jobs are able to use more skills in performing their tasks. Many times, however, enlargement reduces the efficiency with which tasks result in improved employee satisfaction and commitment.

Job Enrichment

Job enrichment is an extension of job rotation and job enlargement techniques, stemming from Herzberg’s two-factor theory of motivation. It assumes that to motivate employees, jobs must offer opportunities for achievement, recognition, responsibility, advancement, and growth.

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This method involves “enriching” the job to include these factors. Job enrichment designs jobs with greater work variety, higher knowledge and skill requirements, increased autonomy and responsibility in performance, and opportunities for personal growth.

Unlike job rotation and job enlargement, which add horizontal tasks, job enrichment adds vertical responsibility and accountability. Implementation can be challenging, as some employees may prefer familiar jobs and resist change. Nevertheless, job enrichment has shown positive outcomes, such as increased employee satisfaction, improved customer service, reduced overload, and fewer errors.

However, management must still use job enrichment selectively and give proper recognition to the complex human and situational variables. The job characteristics model of job enrichment is a step in this direction and has been explained in the next type of job redesign.

Task Design

The job enrichment method discussed above is a relatively simple approach by Herzberg, which he referred to as orthodox job enrichment or OJE. This method suffered from several limitations, and to find a solution, a group of researchers began to concentrate on the relationship between certain job characteristics, or the job scope, and employee motivation.