One major attempt to overcome this boredom was job rotation. Job rotation is periodically rotating work assignments. For instance, an employee in a retail store might work one month as a salesperson, then one month as a cashier. Job rotation entails moving a worker from job to job, thus not requiring that worker to perform one simple and specialized job only over the long run. Rather than making a gardener constantly mow lawns, for example, he or she would be shifted from mowing lawns to other activities such as trimming bushes, raking grass, and sweeping sidewalks. In fact, job rotation programs have been known to increase organizational profitability in some cases. Over the long run, however, they are typically ineffective because rather than becoming bored with only one job, the individual eventually becomes bored with all the rotating jobs. Job rotation is more effective for an individual who is being trained for a job that requires an overview of how various units of an organization function. A trainee in financial management, for example, will have a better understanding of how the finance division functions after he or she has worked in the various departments, including accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll.
Moving people among tasks at intervals may prevent mental stagnation. It may also bring physical relief if each involves different muscles or posture. Clearly, a balance is needed between the advantages of rotation and its costs. Change has to be organised, training provided and disturbance taken into account. Moreover, the benefits of job rotation are very limited. Surveillance staff at the Museum of Anatolian Cultures in Ankara change their position every break. One said, 'I'd rather stay in one place. In that way I would have one boring job instead of four.
• Earning relief
Some employers have experienced success through offering contingent time off (СТО). In an eight-hour day one group was producing 160 units with a 10 per cent reject rate. Managers and staff agreed to a new daily target of 200 plus 3 for every rejected unit. Within a week, output exceeded 200 and defects fell to 1.5 per cent. Staff could leave after the daily quota. The average work time became 62 hours. 46 Although this example suggests a poor state of affairs before the change, it shows that the workers were enticed by earning time off. In their circumstances, it was an important motivator. In spite of such reports, however, СТО agreements are rare.
Matching jobs to people
The limitations of adapting people to jobs have led many to the reverse view. Jobs must match people's capabilities. Drawing on ideas of socio-technical systems, the nature and boundaries of the job are considered alongside the needs of the people. Productivity and needs satisfaction are dual aims of the two policies -enlargement and enrichment.
• Job enlargement
Job enlargement is another strategy developed to overcome the boredom of more simple and specialized jobs. The theory behind job enlargement is that jobs become more satisfying as the number of operations an individual performs increases. Applying the job enlargement concept to our gardener, for example, the job might become more satisfying as activities such as trimming bushes, raking grass, and sweeping sidewalks were added to the initial job responsibility of mowing grass. As you might suspect, some research supports the notion that job enlargement makes jobs more satisfying, while some does not. Generally, however, job enlargement programs have been more successful in increasing job satisfaction than have job rotation programs.
Job enlargement involves adding more tasks of a similar nature to the job. In other words, enlarging a job means increasing the scope. The job of an assembly line worker might be enlarged by assigning the jobholder more assembly operations of a similar nature. Thus, the job is enlarged in the sense that the jobholder performs more different operations.
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