Job Redesign: Definition, Theory & Approaches

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  • 0:00 Job Redesign:…
  • 1:10 Steps In The Process
  • 1:50 Types Of Job Redesign
  • 2:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Carol Woods

Carol has taught college Finance, Accounting, Management and Business courses and has a MBA in Finance.

Have you ever been part of a job redesign effort? When done well, job redesigns should increase department productivity and individual job satisfaction. We'll discuss what job redesign is, how to do it, and what impact it may have on an individual position.

Job Redesign: Definition and Example

Job redesign is an effort where job responsibilities and tasks are reviewed, and possibly re-allocated among staff, to improve output. Redesigning jobs can lead to improvements in both productivity and in job satisfaction.

Let's take Mary, a customer service representative at a large call center. She performs the same tasks during the day, primarily answering customer phone calls asking for assistance with billing issues. If a job redesign effort was done at her call center, her position might change in several different ways. She might increase or decrease the number of calls she takes each day; she might receive training so that she can move to a more specialized group, such as tech support or sales, for part or all of her positions; or she might have a change in her role, such as to a supervisory or training position.

In a good job redesign effort, Mary's personal goals and her skills will be taken into account when determining her changed position. Better use of her abilities and movement toward her personal goals will make her more satisfied with her position, and she'll also be able to accomplish more during the work day.

Steps in the Process

A job redesign effort would walk through the following steps.

First, clarify exactly what is being done today versus the job description, and identify any difficulties in completing work. Second, determine skills of the employees and their level of fit with their current positions. Next, re-allocate tasks so that employees have a better fit between their skills, interests, and position requirements. Then provide training as needed to get employees ready for their new responsibilities. Next, implement the program by providing a new job description to each employee and having them focus on the tasks in their revised position. Finally, revisit regularly to make sure the redefined positions are a good fit for the skills of the staff involved.

Types of Job Redesign

There are three primary types of job redesigns: job enrichment, job enlargement, and job rotation.

In job enrichment, an employee receives new, more challenging tasks in his or her current position. This is often called vertical job loading, as activities requiring a higher level of skill or ability are added.

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