Empowerment in job design can improve employee job motivation by increasing autonomy and task accomplishment at work. The three ways to create empowerment are to offer job redesign, quality work circles and teams.
Macrohard Technology has had a horrible year. Their new tablet product has been declared a complete failure. Their competitor, Pear Products, has outsold them in every technological category possible. Macrohard's company stock has plummeted, and employee morale is at an all-time low. The CEO has called an emergency meeting with all of the vice presidents to ask for suggestions on how to improve the company. Sharon is the human resource vice president of Macrohard and believes that she has one suggestion that could possibly help the company. Her idea of using empowerment in job design was met with much interest. She believes that motivation can be improved by increasing autonomy and task accomplishment at work. Her plan is to use empowerment as a job design method to increase worker responsibility and provide more motivation and productivity on the job. She feels that the workers are bored, unmotivated, and turnover is increasing. Job redesign, quality work circles, and teams are the three ways that empowerment can be used within an organization.
Some companies believe that the adoption of empowerment means that the employee has total control over the job design. This is not correct. Companies need to work with employees and set guidelines as well as expectations. Job design is when the employee has control over developing the tasks and responsibilities of a position. The company can set basic rules over the job, such as safety requirements (wear goggles) or expectations (complete four projects a month). When empowerment is used, the employee can develop the best scenario for how to accomplish their work tasks. Should the employee be setup in a workstation or in a private office? Does the employee need constant feedback? Employees can give their input in areas such as the order of work tasks, scheduling of activities, and types of work methods. When the employee has a say in how their job is designed, the result is a more excited, motivated, and productive employee. Macrohard is asking employees to submit emails with ways to improve their job tasks and responsibilities. The suggestions are then added to the new job redesign. The next way to use empowerment within a company is to create work circles.
Quality Work Circles
The second way to create empowerment with job design is the use of quality work circles. These are formal groups that meet during designated times at the company. The purpose of these work circles is to brainstorm, communicate, and try to solve corporate problems. The circles act as a form of empowerment because they allow employees to give feedback and be listened to by coworkers and management. This gives them a feeling of worth and creates motivation. The circles also let employees make changes in their job design and add to their productivity. The last option for empowerment of job design is teams.
The use of teams can help empower employees on the job. Teams allow groups of workers to handle tasks together. Teams are most appropriate where content changes and employees need help in their skills and duties. Teams empower employees because they provide coworker support and help. Work teams are usually able to offer varied tasks, which can help alleviate boredom and lack of motivation. All employees are responsible for increasing value and competitiveness. Sharon's suggestions are already making a huge difference at Macrohard. The company's morale is up, and teams are producing great new product ideas.
Empowerment in job design is when motivation can be improved by increasing autonomy and task accomplishment at work. The three ways to create empowerment are to offer job redesign, quality work circles and teams. Job design is when the employee has control over developing the tasks and responsibilities of a position. The main purpose of quality work circles is to brainstorm, communicate and try to solve corporate problems. Teams allow groups of workers to handle tasks together.
After watching this lesson, you should be able to:
- Exchange views on empowerment in job design
- Identify and explain three ways to create empowerment
- Discern the benefits of quality work circles