First, it alters the basic relationship between people and their jobs. The basic foundation of this relationship is that the nature of work itself is a powerful influence on worker motivation and job satisfaction. People who are happy with their jobs are highly intrinsically motivated.
“Secondly, the job and the human behaviour are directly related. A satisfactory job results in less resentment and a more positive attitude. By experiencing more rewarding work, the employees develop more favourable attitudes towards the organization. Such attitudes reinforce behaviours which are desirable a. more lasting.
Thirdly, work redesign opens opportunities to initiate changes in other areas such as development of supervisory skills and management development programmes.
Finally, work redesign makes an organisation people oriented rather than machine oriented. The work activities become more challenging and as a result, people experience feelings of worth, personal growth and development and aspire for higher level needs such as self-esteem and self- actualization.
The two primary approaches to job redesign relate to job scope and job depth. Job scope refers to the variety of tasks incorporated into a job and job depth refers to the degree of authority and autonomy added to the job. Such job redesign alternatives include job enlargement, job enrichment and job rotation.
Also known as horizontal loading, job enlargement increases task variety by combining into one job two or more tasks that were previously assigned to separate workers. For example, a sales clerk’s job may be enlarged by adding responsibility for checking and ordering inventory as needed. These additional tasks develop greater skill variety among the workers. They also feel a greater sense of accomplishment because they complete a larger part of the task.
Job enrichment involves deliberate upgrading of responsibility and challenges at work. More and more works are being redesigned to make them more “meaningful” and in some cases, job enrichment includes giving employees responsibility for the planning and control of work and operations. Some of the principles of job enrichment are advanced by Herzberg. These are:
1. Give the employee the freedom of operation and added responsibility. An opportunity to schedule one’s own work enhances a sense of achievement and motivation. Expand his authority while retaining some controls and accountability for his actions and results.
2. To increase responsibility, give the worker a whole unit to operate. A person who makes an entire toaster feels much more satisfied than a person who simply makes a part of it. Such responsibility adds to the task importance for the worker.
3. Introduce new and more difficult tasks at each step, giving workers an opportunity to learn and specialize.
4. The employee must be given frequent feedback on his performance and on his handling of his own duties and responsibilities. This feedback will reinforce the learning process and will continuously appraise the employee regarding his progress on the job.
When an organization has a series of routine jobs that cannot be combined or enriched, the employees may be shifted from one job to another in order to provide some variety so as to minimize the monotony and boredom. For example, if there are four jobs and four workers, then each worker can be rotated through these jobs over a planned period of time, as shown below:
Even though job rotation does not necessarily provide any challenges to aggressive employees, it does broaden the range of experience and it is an effective training technique because a worker rotated through a variety of related jobs acquires a larger set of job skills, which is motivating in itself, and the organization develops a more flexible work force.