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Job Design: What Is It and How Does It Improve Employee Productivity? [free template]

Job design is an increasingly popular HR strategy for optimising employee motivation and productivity. But what is job design in HRM? In this article, we will look at what it is and how it could benefit your company. We will also discuss how it impacts employee productivity and what tools you can use to raise overall performance in your organisation.

Download your free Job Design checklist to help you implement a successful job design!

What Is Job Design?

Job design in HR is the process of defining and optimising the roles and responsibilities of a position within a company. It focuses on the tasks to be undertaken as well as the techniques, systems, processes and procedures used to fulfil duties. In other words, how the job is done and what resources and support the employee requires to perform well.

Job design also takes into account the social and personal requirements of the employee undertaking a role. What motivates them? What skills do they have? How do they relate to other members of the team? This last aspect is vital as the main objective of job design is to align the needs of a position with those of the employee filling the role. This helps employees obtain maximum job satisfaction which improves their motivation, productivity and performance. It also reduces the occurrence of grievances and absenteeism.

Job Design Strategies

Generally speaking, job design aims to establish how fulfilled and motivated employees are, if they are overworked or understimulated, and if there are any potential areas for professional development. Strategies are then implemented to improve employee motivation levels. Although these vary according to individual business needs, most companies implement one of the following strategies:

  • Job Rotation: you move employees from one position to another. The aim is to reduce boredom, develop a flexible workforce, and create multi-skilled employees.
  • Job Enlargement: you slowly increase the number of tasks you assign to an employee. The aim is to improve work efficiency and flexibility. Job enlargement includes a horizontal expansion of tasks and duties operating across the same organisational level.
  • Job Enrichment: The slow increase in the number of responsibilities you assign to an employee. The aim is to make them responsible for scheduling, coordinating and planning their own work. Unlike job enlargement, job enrichment includes the vertical expansion of employees’ roles within different hierarchical levels. This means it is more challenging for employees as the new roles require higher levels of skill. However, this proves empowering for employees.
  • Flexible Work Schedules: you offer employees flexible working solutions so that they can balance their own work time and personal time. Options include working compressed hours, following a flexitime schedule and working remotely.

3 Key Principles of Good Job Design

The 3 key principles to a good job design include:

  • A holistic job design. This means it must address the mental, social and physical aspects of work. Whilst also adhering to the needs and abilities of all employees.
  • Incorporates not only the needs of the business but also the work environment.
  • Develops employee wellbeing and success.

By following these 3 principles, job design can develop employee engagement and therefore job satisfaction. Furthermore, it stimulates learning and innovation.

job-design

What Are The Benefits of Job Design?

The benefits of job design techniques in HRM include:

  • Improved employee engagement, job satisfaction, and motivation.
  • It highlights any issues with work and breaks schedules, ensuring compliance with employment regulations. It also helps ensure employees don’t feel overworked.
  • Employees feel they have a channel to communicate feedback relating to their job but also to their personal and social needs in the workplace.
  • It helps HR keep track of who requires additional training according to job demands and professional development needs.
  • Job enlargement strategies can challenge employees to push themselves and learn new skills.
  • Job enrichment strategies promote an increased sense of employee responsibility which encourages them to take pride in their work, improving quality and performance.
  • Flexible work schedules can improve an employee’s work/life balance, adding to their job satisfaction and quality of working life.
  • When employees are motivated and satisfied they work more effectively and efficiently, adding value to the business.
  • Employees have the tools and resources to be as productive as possible.
  • It reduces turnover and increases staff retention.

Job Design and Employee Productivity

The biggest benefit of job design is the positive effect it has on employee productivity and job satisfaction. Companies must strive to design and implement strategies that attract, retain and motivate a talented workforce. This is why creating and implementing an effective job design system has become a core component of a successful HR strategy. It determines the level of responsibility of each employee and provides a benchmark for measuring their performance.

A well-designed job takes into consideration the needs of the employee, helping them feel nurtured and connected with their work. If they feel what they are doing is significant, logical and important, then they will feel motivated to perform as well as they can. It also increases loyalty and raises morale. And if you implement a flexible working schedule or job enrichment strategy then your employees are far more likely to take ownership over their own work and take pride in a job well done. Instead of focusing on time spent at the office, they will focus on obtaining results.

In contrast, if a job is poorly designed then it can often lead to boredom and diminished performance. For example, if an employee is only given basic tasks to do and their role is designed around the concept of following orders then it will be hard for them to take responsibility and become emotionally invested in their work. And if they feel they don’t have the tools, support and resources to perform to the best of their abilities then they will also lose interest in hitting their goals. In other words, if the time hasn’t been taken to ensure that a position is designed to optimise opportunities, then it will usually lead to job dissatisfaction and decreased performance.

Performance Management Software

If you’re going to implement job design in your company as a way to improve motivation and performance then you also need a reliable system for measuring its impact. It’s the only way you will know if employees are meeting the defined performance expectations of their role. One way to do this is by using a performance appraisal template. Our free template will help you identify the areas you need to focus on and consider when conducting an employee performance evaluation. However, the best way to ensure your employees are meeting the expectations of their job design is by using performance management software.

A good solution is one that simplifies the performance management process so that you can spend more time focusing on what matters: your employees. It provides tools to help you optimise your job designs and measure the performance of your employees. You can also use it to identify what training, resources and support you need to provide to improve underperforming areas. Ultimately, it helps you maximise the performance of your teams and employees.

Factorial’s performance management feature offers all the above and more. Our flexible and fully-customisable performance reviews and custom reports will help you track the performance of your team. The software will help you evaluate if your employees are meeting the expectations of the job design. And armed with this data, you can focus on building strategies that boost long-term growth and success.

Why not try out Factorial for your 14-day free trial!

Written by Cat Symonds; Edited by Carmina Davis

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