It creates involvement and variety if several tasks that had been divided are combined into a single job. In a simple case, the work of four clerical staff, each handling a separate stage of order processing, may be reorganised so that each does all steps on one quarter of the orders. Other cases, however, may need new processes or extra equipment. For instance, instead of an electrical goods assembly line, each worker would require a complete set of tools and assembly jigs. As with job rotation, critics point out that combining a few boring jobs does not make a job interesting. Yet, if the cycle time is increased substantially by combining a dozen or more tasks, feelings of boredom and frustration may recede as a sense of achievement is reintroduced.
• Job enrichment
Job enrichment involves upgrading the job by increasing both job scope and job depth. Adding responsibility is one of the most common ways of "enriching" a job. It means redesigning the job with the express intention of increasing its motivational content. Hackman and Oldham placed job design at the core of motivation. As we saw in Figure 11.12, core job characteristics were key ingredients of those critical psychological states that influence performance and satisfaction. All job characteristics can be changed:
• Skill variety: the range of skills in use can be increased. For example, planning, leading, communicating, recording and monitoring can be developed within the context of manual jobs.
• Task identity: enabling a person to complete a whole task with a meaningful outcome. This could range from a complete assembly to looking after all the requirements of a customer instead of referring queries to specialists.
• Task significance: designing the job so that its outputs are important to the work of others. Encouraging staff to see colleagues as customers is an important message in quality management.
• Autonomy: allowing discretion over job pace, sequence, checking and so on. This is related to the notion of empowerment. There are operational limits to the possibilities for individual discretion. Many employers, however, have developed the idea of group autonomy where a few people share control over the work.
• Feedback from job: providing information on how well a person is doing.
Job enlargement and job enrichment involve increasing the amount of job scope and job depth. Job scope and job depth are two important dimensions of job content. Job scope refers to the number and variety of different tasks performed by the job holder. In performing a job with narrow scope, the jobholder would perform few different tasks and repeat these tasks frequently. The negative effects of jobs lacking in scope vary with the jobholder, but can result in more errors and lower quality.
Job depth refers to the freedom of jobholders to plan and organize their own work, to work at their own pace, and to move around and communicate as desired. A lack of job depth can result in job dissatisfaction which can, in turn, lead to tardiness, absenteeism, and even sabotage.
A job can be high in job scope and low in job depth or vice versa. For example, newspaper delivery involves the same few tasks each time, but there is considerable freedom in organizing and pacing the work. Therefore, the job is low in scope but high in depth. Of course, many jobs are low (or high) in both job scope and job depth.
Another more recent job-design strategy for motivating organization members is based upon a concept called flextime. Perhaps the most traditional characteristic of work performed in the United States during its later history is the fact that jobs have been performed within a fixed eight-hour workday. More recently, however, this tradition has been challenged. Faced with problems of motivation and worker absenteeism, many managers are turning to time-scheduling innovations as a possible solution.
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