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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Job analysis, Job design, Job evolution

A job is defined as a collection of duties and responsibilities which are given together to an individual employee. Job analysis is the process of studying and collecting information relating to operations and responsibilities of a specific job. It can be explained with the help of the following diagram

Job analysis
Job description Job specification
Job title/ name of the job Qualification
Working hours Qualities
Duties and responsibilities Experience
Working conditions Family background
Salary and incentives Training
Machines to be handled on the job Interpersonal skills

As mentioned in the above table job analysis is divided into 2 parts
a) Job description
where the details regarding the job are given.
b) Job specification
where we explain the qualities required by people applying for the job.

Need/importance/purpose/benefits of job analysis
Def: - A job is defined as a collection of duties and responsibilities which are given together to an individual employee. Job analysis is the process of studying and collecting information relating to operations and responsibilities of a specific job.

The following are the benefits of job analysis.
1. Organizational structure and design :-
Job analysis helps the organization to make suitable changes in the organizational structure, so that it matches the needs and requirements of the organization. Duties are either added or deleted from the job.

2. Recruitment and selection :-
Job analysis helps to plan for the future human resource. It helps to recruit and select the right kind of people. It provides information necessary to select the right person.

3. Performance appraisal and training/development :-
Based on the job requirements identified in the job analysis, the company decides a training program. Training is given in those areas which will help to improve the performance on the job. Similarly when appraisal is conducted we check whether the employee is able to work in a manner in which we require him to do the job.

4. Job evaluation :-
Job evaluation refers to studying in detail the job performance by all individual. The difficulty levels, skills required and on that basis the salary is fixed. Information regarding qualities required, skilled levels, difficulty levels are obtained from job analysis.

5. Promotions and transfer :-
When we give a promotion to an employee we need to promote him on the basis of the skill and talent required for the future job. Similarly when we transfer an employee to another branch the job must be very similar to what he has done before. To take these decisions we collect information from job analysis.

6. Career path planning :-
Many companies have not taken up career planning for their employees. This is done to prevent the employee from leaving the company. When we plan the future career of the employee, information will be collected from job analysis. Hence job analysis becomes important or advantageous.

7. Labour relations :-
When companies plan to add extra duties or delete certain duties from a job, they require the help of job analysis, when this activity is systematically done using job analysis the number of problems with union members reduce and labour relations improve.

8. Health and safety :-
Most companies prepare their own health and safety, plans and programs based on job analysis. From the job analysis company identifies the risk factor on the job and based on the risk factor safety equipments are provided.

9. Acceptance of job offer :-
When a person is given an offer/appointment letter the duties to be performed by him are clearly mentioned in it, this information is collected from job analysis, which is why job analysis becomes important.

Methods of job analysis
Def: - A job is defined as a collection of duties and responsibilities which are given together to an individual employee. Job analysis is the process of studying and collecting information relating to operations and responsibilities of a specific job.
There are different methods used by organization to collect information and conduct the job analysis. These methods are

1. Personal observation :-
In this method the observer actually observes the concerned worker. He makes a list of all the duties performed by the worker and the qualities required to perform those duties based on the information collected, job analysis is prepared.

2. Actual performance of the job :-
In this method the observer who is in charge of preparing the job analysis actually does the work himself. This gives him an idea of the skill required, the difficulty level of the job, the efforts required etc.

3. Interview method :-
In this method an interview of the employee is conducted. A group of experts conduct the interview. They ask questions about the job, skilled levels, and difficulty levels. They question and cross question and collect information and based on this information job analysis is prepared.

4. Critical incident method :-
In this method the employee is asked to write one or more critical incident that has taken place on the job. The incident will give an idea about the problem, how it was handled, qualities required and difficulty levels etc. critical incident method gives an idea about the job and its importance. (a critical means important and incident means anything which takes place in the job)

5. Questioner method :-
In this method a questioner is provided to the employee and they are asked to answer the questions in it. The questions may be multiple choice questions or open ended questions. The questions decide how exactly the job analysis will be done. The method is effective because people would think twice before putting anything in writing.

6. Log records :- (2 marks concept)
Companies can ask employees to maintain log records and job analysis can be done on the basis of information collected from the log record. A log record is a book in which employees record /write all the activities performed by them on the job. The records are extensive as well as exhausted in nature and provide a fair idea about the duties and responsibilities in any job.

7. HRD records :-
Records of every employee are maintained by HR department. The record contain details about educational qualification, name of the job, number of years of experience, duties handled, any mistakes committed in the past and actions taken, number of promotions received, area of work, core competency area, etc. based on these records job analysis can be done.

Job design
Definitions: -
Job design is the process of
a) Deciding the contents of the job.
b) Deciding methods to carry out the job.
c) Deciding the relationship which exists in the organization.
Job analysis helps to develop job design and job design matches the requirements of the job with the human qualities required to do the job.

Factors affecting job design: - There are various factors which affect job design in the company. They can be explained with the help of diagram.

Factors affecting job design
Organizational factors Environmental factors Behavioral factors
1. Task characteristics 1. Employee availability and ability 1. Feed back
2. Process or flow of work in organization 2. Social and cultural expectations
3. Ergonomics
4. Work practices

I] Organizational factors :-
Organizational factors to refer to factors inside the organization which affect job design they are

a) Task characteristics :-
Task characteristics refer to features of the job that is depending on the type of job and the duties involved in it the organization will decide, how the job design must be done. Incase the company is not in a position to appoint many people; a single job may have many duties and vice versa.

b) The process or flow of work in the organization :-
There is a certain order in which jobs are performed in the company. Incase the company wishes it could combine similar job and give it to one person this can be done if all the jobs come one after the other in a sequence.

c) Ergonomics (2 marks concept) :-
Ergonomics refers to matching the job with physical ability and characteristics of the individual and in providing an office environment which will help the person to complete the jobs faster and in a comfortable manner.

d) Work practices :-
Every organization has different work practices. Although the job may be the same the method of doing the job differs from company to company. This is called work practice and it affects job design.

II] Environmental factors :-
Environmental factors which affect job design are as follows

a) Employee availability and ability :-
Certain countries face the problem of lack of skilled labour. They are not able to get employees with specific education levels for jobs and have to depend on other countries due to this job design gets affected.

b) Social and cultural expectations :-
The social and cultural conditions of every country is different so when an MNC appoints an Indian it has to take into account like festivals, auspicious time, inauspicious time, etc. to suit the Indian conditions. This applies to every country and therefore job design will change accordingly.


III] Behavioral factors :-
Job design is affected by behavioral factors also. These factors are

a) Feedback :-
Job design is normally prepared on the basis of job analysis and job analysis requires employee feedback based on this employee feedback all other activities take place. Many employees are however not interested in providing a true feedback because of fear and insecurity. This in turn affects job deign.

b) Autonomy :-
Every worker desires a certain level of freedom to his job effectively. This is called autonomy. Thus when we prepare a job design we must see to it that certain amount of autonomy is provided to the worker so that he carries his job effectively.

c) Variety :-
When the same job is repeated again and again it leads to burden and monotony. This leads to lack of interest and carelessness on the job. Therefore, while preparing job design certain amount of variety must be provided to keep the person interested in the job.

Methods of job design
There are various methods in which job design can be carried out. These methods help to analysis the job, to design the contents of the and to decide how the job must be carried out .these methods are as follows :- (5 marks each)

I. Job rotation
II. Job enlargement
III. Job enrichment

I. Job Rotation :- (def 2 marks concept )
Job rotation involves shifting a person from one job to another, so that he is able to understand and learn what each job involves. The company tracks his performance on every job and decides whether he can perform the job in an ideal manner. Based on this he is finally given a particular posting.

Job rotation is done to decide the final posting for the employee e.g. Mr. A is assigned to the marketing department whole he learns all the jobs to be performed for marketing at his level in the organization .after this he is shifted to the sales department and to the finance department and so on. He is finally placed in the department in which he shows the best performance
Job rotation gives an idea about the jobs to be performed at every level. Once a person is able to understand this he is in a better understanding of the working of organization

Advantages of job rotation
1. Avoids monopoly :-
Job rotation helps to avoid monopoly of job and enable the employee to learn new things and therefore enjoy his job

2. Provides an opportunity to broaden one’s knowledge :-
Due to job rotation the person is able to learn different job in the organization this broadens his knowledge

3. Avoiding fraudulent practice :-
In an organization like bank jobs rotation is undertaken to prevent employees from doing any kind of fraud i.e. if a person is handling a particular job for a very long time he will be able to find loopholes in th system and use them for his benefit and indulge ( participate ) in fraudulent practices job rotation avoids this.

Disadvantages of Job Rotation
1. Frequent interruption :-
Job rotation results in frequent interruption of work .A person who is doing a particular job and get it comfortable suddenly finds himself shifted to another job or department .this interrupts the work in both the departments

2. Reduces uniformity in quality :-
Quality of work done by a trained worker is different from that of a new worker .when a new worker I shifted or rotated in the department, he takes time to learn the new job, makes mistakes in the process and affects the quality of the job.

3. Misunderstanding with the union member :-
Sometimes job rotation may lead to misunderstanding with members of the union. The union might think that employees are being harassed and more work is being taken from them. In reality this is not the case.

Job enlargement
There are various methods in which job design can be carried out. These methods help to analysis the job, to design the contents of the and to decide how the job must be carried out .these methods are as follows :- (5 marks each)

I. Job rotation
II. Job enlargement
III. Job enrichment

II. Job enlargement :- (concept 2 marks)
Job enlargement is another method of job design when any organization wishes to adopt proper job design it can opt for job enlargement. Job enlargement involves combining various activities at the same level in the organization and adding them to the existing job. It increases the scope of the job. It is also called the horizontal expansion of job activities.
Jon enlargement can be explained with the help of the following example - If Mr. A is working as an executive with a company and is currently performing 3 activities on his job after job enlargement or through job enlargement we add 4 more activities to the existing job so now Mr. A performs 7 activities on the job.
It must be noted that the new activities which have been added should belong to the same hierarchy level in the organization. By job enlargement we provide a greater variety of activities to the individual so that we are in a position to increase the interest of the job and make maximum use of employee’s skill. Job enlargement is also essential when policies like VRS are implemented in the company.


Advantages of job enlargement
1. Variety of skills :-
Job enlargement helps the organization to improve and increase the skills of the employee due to organization as well as the individual benefit.

2. Improves earning capacity :-
Due to job enlargement the person learns many new activities. When such people apply foe jobs to other companies they can bargain for more salary.

3. Wide range of activities :-
Job enlargement provides wide range of activities for employees. Since a single employee handles multiple activities the company can try and reduce the number of employee’s. This reduces the salary bill for the company.

Disadvantages of job enlargement
1. Increases work burden :-
Job enlargement increases the work of the employee and not every company provides incentives and extra salary for extra work. Therefore the efforts of the individual may remain unrecognized.

2. Increasing frustration of the employee :-
In many cases employees end up being frustrated because increased activities do not result in increased salaries.

3. Problem with union members :-
Many union members may misunderstand job enlargement as exploitation of worker and may take objection to it.

Job enrichment
There are various methods in which job design can be carried out. These methods help to analysis the job, to design the contents of the and to decide how the job must be carried out .these methods are as follows :- (5 marks each)

I. Job rotation
II. Job enlargement
III. Job enrichment

III. Job enrichment :- (concept 2 marks)
Job enrichment is a term given by Fedric herzberg. According to him a few motivators are added to a job to make it more rewarding, challenging and interesting. According to herzberg the motivating factors enrich the job and improve performance.
In other words we can say that job enrichment is a method of adding some motivating factors to an existing job to make it more interesting. The motivating factors can be

a) Giving more freedom.
b) Encouraging participation.
c) Giving employees the freedom to select the method of working.
d) Allowing employees to select the place at which they would like to
work.
e) Allowing workers to select the tools that they require on the job.
f) Allowing workers to decide the layout of plant or office.

Job enrichment gives lot of freedom to the employee but at the same time increases the responsibility. Some workers are power and responsibility hungry. Job enrichment satisfies the needs of the employees.

Advantages of job enrichment
1. Interesting and challenging job :-
When a certain amount of power is given to employees it makes the job more challenging for them, we can say that job enrichment is a method of employee empowerment.

2. Improves decision making :-
Through job enrichment we can improve the decision making ability of the employee by asking him to decide on factory layout, method and style of working.

3. Identifies future managerial caliber :-
When we provide decision making opportunities to employees, we can identify which employee is better that other in decision making and mark employees for future promotion.

4. Identifies higher order needs of employees :-
This method identifies higher order needs of the employee. Abraham maslow’s theory of motivation speaks of these higher order needs e.g. ego and esteemed needs, self actualization etc. These needs can be achieved through job enrichment.

5. Reduces work load of superiors :-
Job enrichment reduces the work load of senior staff. When decisions are taken by juniors the seniors work load is reduced.

Disadvantages of job enrichment
1. Job enrichment is based on the assumptions that workers have complete knowledge to take decisions and they have the right attitude. In reality this might not be the case due to which there can be problems in working.

2. Job enrichment has negative implications ie. Along with usual work decision making work is also given to the employees and not many may be comfortable with this.

3. Superiors may feel that power is being taken away from them and given to the junior’s. This might lead to ego problems.

4. This method will only work in certain situations. Some jobs already give a lot of freedom and responsibility; this method will not work for such jobs.

5. Some people are internally dissatisfied with the organization. For such people no amount of job enrichment can solve the problem.

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