Job design presents the effective manager with tough decisions involving a three-stage process. A job description contains core job characteristics that lead to critical psychological states that employees feel that then lead to outcomes, such as the firm’s collective profits.
A tricky dilemma as a manager entails stimulating the right psychological responses that lead to outcomes. Elicit the right psychological reactions from employees through the use of the core job characteristics.
The five critical components to core job characteristics involve skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback from the job.
Beginning with skill variety, the manager must determine the range of skills that an employee should complete during the normal course of business. We surely must all agree that an engaged employee cannot do the same repetitive task all day every day and still perform properly.
The employee becomes bored and performance declines and affects the whole organisation. As a way to combat boredom and repetition, managers struggle with a balance between weighing whether a job should encompass rotation skills or enlargement skills.
One solution at a manufacturing plant might entail a worker rotating between responsibilities by running a certain processor machine on Monday, do site inspections on Tuesday, and clean equipment on Wednesday.
On the other hand, the manager may provide the employee with enlarged responsibilities whereby he or she must operate processor machines, clean the same equipment, and conduct site inspections.
Then in the enlarged role with more types of responsibilities, the employees themselves decide when to conduct each various task.
Moving on to task identity, do the tasks you assign to your employees identify with them? Do they find identity in the task or tasks? Do the tasks fit with their skill level, personality, and interests? Next, do the tasks you assigned contain any significance?
If the tasks seem meaningless to the employee, then he or she would not desire to perform the tasks. Emphasise the critical nature of tasks and frequently inform them how those tasks contribute to the success of the company and the success of the employee individually.
Next, managers must remember to provide autonomy to their employees. Everyone hates working for a micromanager. A leader who constantly watches their employees and requires them to frequently check in for approvals and verifications significantly ruins staff motivation.
Instead, provide employees the freedom to find their own solutions to company problems. Let them fail or succeed based on their results, not based on your overbearing eyes prying down upon them.
Back off and watch as their performance improves the less you get involved. Surely, though, you must monitor results. However, do so with respect and distance.
Finally, all employees need feedback about their job performance. Most organisations provide such feedback in ridiculous annual performance reviews that actually hurt individual and company performance. Helpful feedback should, instead, incorporate regular formal and informal meetings between supervisor and employee.
The regular meetings incorporate coaching that focuses on the employee’s success. Ideally, managers should meet employees monthly, but at least quarterly for coaching sessions.
Then, managers who walk around the establishment and informally mingle with staff and observe production or services, as opposed to micromanaging, realise higher performance results.
The above five core job characteristics lead to critical psychological states that each employee maintains in his or her mind. Proper job characteristics create feelings of meaningfulness, responsibility, and knowledge of their own results.
Employees without the three psychological states do not possess the right mind-frame to succeed. Monitor employee feelings through surveys, observations, and trends, such as absenteeism and tardiness for example.
Then, fostering the appropriate employee feelings and psychology leads to solid individual outcomes including work motivation, growth satisfaction, general life satisfaction, and their own work effectiveness. The four combined outcomes lead to higher company performance and profits.
The most effective executives do realise some of the challenges to building appropriate designs in job descriptions. First, accurately measuring and identifying different job traits and possibilities becomes difficult. A manager must focus on intentionality, not just passive interest.
Next, employees may initially resist change when they do not understand or believe how the job description change would actually improve their work life. Then, entities where employees work with union representation that possess additional hurdles whenever job descriptions change.
In summary, persevere as a manager to create meaningful job descriptions that capture the five core job characteristics.
You may find the balance required for your employees in the first job enrichment designs that you develop as challenging or lopsided, but stick with your goal and you should eventually become adept at designing motivating job descriptions and creating satisfied employees who bring your company higher profits.