Redesigning jobs: A tool for motivating employees

WHEN you do the same job day in day out, it can become mundane or uninteresting. It should be made clear that sometimes it’s not the type of work that needs a remodelling but the tasks, responsibilities and roles in that job at workplaces.

By Emmanuel Zvada

Many are still glued to outmoded job descriptions and as such the jobs of their employees are more prescriptive and inflexible, the cut and paste phenomenon of job descriptions should not be borne and proper redesigning of jobs should be done.

You have to love what you do, to give your best at work and if jobs are properly designed, employees will love their jobs and give their best.

Many people go to work every day and go through the same, unenthusiastic actions to perform their jobs.

These individuals often refer to this condition as job exhaustion.

All the same, smart human resources managers can do something to improve this condition before an employee becomes bored and loses motivation.

The concept of job redesigning is a concept that should be done over and over to reengineer mind-sets and reduce boredom from current jobs.

One of the problems with organisations is that of duplicating previous job descriptions when seeking for suitable individuals on their job markets “the cut and paste phenomenon”.

Job descriptions can be tailor made for a specific purpose depending on what the organisation wants to use the job description for, the format and content can be crafted to suit a certain particular purpose.

When redesigning jobs, there is need to consider that the job has to be flexible to the employee in the same way not, forgetting that there should be clearly stated duties and roles of employees.

What then it means is that job descriptions should not be rigid and there should be clearly stated duties and roles.

The justification for having stated duties and roles is to create a basis for benchmarking performance.

The central assumption is that job strain develops irrespective of the type of job or occupation, especially when (certain) job demands are high and even repetitive, hence, the only solution will be job redesigning.

Redesigning the jobs is more like restructuring all the elements including tasks, duties and responsibilities of a specific job in order to make it more cheering and inspiring for the employees.

The process includes revising the current jobs, this involves reviewing job-related information to determine the inconsistency between person and the job.

This is a great time to ensure that the job description is up-to-date and there is a match between the requirements of the job and expectations for the position as well as what is on the ground.

Analysing and assessing the demands, roles and responsibilities of the job will be the second thing to do and this is when you revising the job content, analysing the discrepancies in the job.

Normally, it is done to determine the hindrances in performing job-related tasks and duties as well as investigating why an employee is not able to deliver the expected output.

After analysing the jobs, they have to be altered to fit what is needed, that’s when the job elements are amended.

This is done by cutting back on extra responsibilities or addition of more functions and a higher degree of accountability. The main aim of altering the job content is to design a job in such a manner that encourages employees to work harder and perform better.

In this stage, that’s where the job enlargement, rotation and enrichment are done. Subsequently, reallocating of job-related content has to be done properly so as to motivate employees.

This is when reforms are done to the job descriptions and specifications in order to make sure that the employee positioned at a particular place is able to deliver what is expected.

The main objective of conducting job redesigning is to place the right person in the right job and get the maximum output while increasing their level of satisfaction.

When jobs are properly designed, they avoid a situation where one will have to say “it’s not in my job description”, meaning to say that they are capable of doing the tasks but the fact that it is not listed in their job descriptions will hinder them from performing the task.

This reminds me of a situation when a till operator refused to take back stale bread from a customer, saying it was not her duty, but that of the shop manager’s.

If the jobs are poorly designed, what it means is that even the way employees perform their duties will be affected.

Employers are supposed to make sure that jobs are flexible and by so doing, employees will be willing to go the extra mile in their work.

If jobs are designed properly, it can improve employee’s motivation, all what employees need in organisations is a prerogative to exercise jobs with minimum rigidity.

Job redesigning can be a panacea for improved performance and productivity if done properly, in other words, how a job is designed has a major impact on employee motivation, job satisfaction, commitment to an organisation, absenteeism and turnover

Job redesigning plays an important role in creating a right person-job fit while harnessing the full potential of employees.

It helps the organisation, as well as employees in achieving their targets or goal as well as allowing employees to do what they are good at, thus, creating a sense of belonging in them.

 Emmanuel Zvada writes in his own capacity he is a human capital consultant / international recruitment expert and author: For comments email emmanuelzvada@webmail.co.za or call +263771467441.

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