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Behavioral Approaches to Job Design

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  • 0:03 Behavioral Approaches
  • 1:18 Job Enrichment
  • 2:04 Job Characteristics
  • 2:38 Autonomous Team
  • 3:12 Modified Work Schedule
  • 4:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Behavioral approaches to job design can help improve employee motivation and productivity. In this type of philosophy, factors, such as autonomy, variety, task identification/significance and feedback, are analyzed and improvements are made for employees.

Behavioral Approaches

Julia, Jennifer, Joseph, and Jeremiah all worked for Cheapo Toys. They are all unhappy with their jobs. Their conversations at the coffee shop after work have been consumed with how they should quit and find more interesting jobs. One day, Sue, the toy company's human resource manager, was sitting behind them in a booth. The four friends did not realize that their complaints were overhead by Sue. The next day at work, all four friends were called into the human resource office. They were told that drastic changes would be happening with their job design.

Sue has decided to use a behavioral approach to recreate their jobs and help improve their motivation and productivity. This means that factors, such as autonomy, variety, task identification/significance, and feedback, are analyzed and improvements are made for the four employees. There are four specific types of behavioral approaches to job design. Sue plans on using one of each type for the employees based on their jobs. Job enrichment, job characteristics, autonomous teams, and a modified work schedule will each be used to improve Julia, Jennifer, Joseph, and Jeremiah's job productivity and motivation.

Job Enrichment

Job enrichment is an approach where specialized tasks are assembled together as one, so the employee has responsibility to complete the product from beginning to end. Julia has complained that working in the factory and punching out plastic pieces for toddler toys has grown boring. She wants to have some meaning to her work. Sue has explained that they are retooling the factory jobs so that she will be building a toy from beginning to end. Julia will now be responsible for assembling the material, operating the automated machines to build the toy, and then packaging the toy for sale. Julia will receive bonuses for the number of finished toys completed each day if the amount goes over production quotas. Julia is thrilled with this new job design and can't wait to get to work each morning. Sue is ready to tackle the next unhappy employee.

Job Characteristics

Jennifer is also very unhappy with her job. She would love to have more responsibility and challenge in her sales position. Sue believes the job characteristic approach is the best scenario to help improve Jennifer's situation. This approach takes into account that job characteristics affect the overall design process. Jennifer's job is redesigned so that the tasks are more varied both vertically and horizontally. She will have the option to train in other departments and is also placed into a mid-management training program. Sue is excited to motivate the third employee.

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