Job redesign, knowing when, how

A lot of shifts, a lot of uncertainty. Is it time to redesign things at the workplace?

People who want to up the ante when it comes to creating workplace cultures that are truly enriching. Comfort, kindness, care, and wellbeing are buzzwords of course but I feel like it really starts with making sure everyone is having fun.

I found this article about job redesign at a site for helping people learn about the duties of an HR team, something that I am quite curious about as I get together the materials to partner with a few of them to create teambuilding and reflective practice workshops, both online and offline. Here is some of it.

First, what is work redesign?

  • ‘Job enrichment: a complex approach based on something called ‘the 2-factor theory of motivation.’ It tries to make jobs motivating for employees by increasing their feelings of achievement, responsibility, and recognition. Adding more tasks to a job and giving more control, responsibilities and authority to employees is part of job enrichment; it’s thought to create more challenging and attractive jobs and so increase job performance.
  • ‘Job enlargement: managers add to the job load, meaning the job will include tasks that were previously performed by other workers. The main idea of job enlargement is to increase the diversity of tasks for one job holder and decrease boredom and demotivation of the employee.
  • ‘Job rotation: systematically shifting employees to different positions. Employees have more motivation and interest, it’s thought, when they can gain more experience and skills, and can see the big-picture of organizational goals, and actual performance, of different company units.

And what does it take to do job redesign?

The article says:

  • Clarifying the role and identifying work completion difficulties: to start the process, the first logical step is to identify the current responsibilities within the given job. The tasks that are done by the job holder needs to be compared to the job description for the position. This process needs to communicate and observe job holders in order to track all the specific details of the work. The logic behind this action is to identify existing difficulties in work completion.
  • Determining skills: after the job is well researched and observed, it is necessary to determine the skills that an employee needs to complete the job effectively. Essential skills for successful work completion should be compared to the skills of employees holding the job.
  • Re-allocating tasks: knowing specifics and difficulties of the job and having information about employee skills allows managers to re-allocate tasks in a way that would increase the productivity of employees by fitting their interests and knowledge to the actual position requirements.
  • Providing training: the next step is to provide relevant training and other necessary educational activities to make sure that employees are ready and well-informed to successfully perform their new job responsibilities.
  • Implementing: the actual implementation of the new job responsibilities include new job descriptions, letting people work on their positions in a newly defined way.
  • Revisiting: Managers have to keep revisiting the changes they put into practice, which means revising every so often if the changes do what they are meant to for people to be happier and more successful.




Questions for discussion

If you could write your own job description, what would it say? What do you think your boss would say? Can you open a conversation with someone at your workplace about how to redesign your job so it fits your needs, better, now? Maybe it’s been a while since you joined. Maybe you’ve changed. Your goals, your personality, this is normal. But has your job description?