A few important Job related factors in operations

Individuals must receive meaningful feedback about their performance, preferably by evaluating their own performance and defining the feedback. This implies that, they should ideally work on a complete product, or a significant part of it which can be seen as a whole.

Autonomy: Autonomy is being responsible for what one does. It is the freedom to control one’s responses to the environment. Jobs that give workers, authority to make decisions will provide added responsibilities which tend to increase the employee’s sense of recognition and self-esteem. The absence of autonomy, on the other hand, can cause employee apathy or poor performance.

Use of Abilities: The job must be perceived by individuals as requiring them to use abilities they value in order to perform the job effectively.

Variety: Lack of variety may cause boredom. Boredom in turn in turn leads to fatigue and fatigue causes mistakes. By injecting variety into jobs, personnel specialists can reduce errors caused by fatigue.

Techniques of Job Design: work simplification, job rotation, job enlargement, job enrichment, autonomous work group and high performance work design are the popular techniques of designing the job.

Work Simplification: In this technique, the job is simplified or specialized. A given job is broken down into small sub-parts and each is assigned to one individual. To be more specific, work simplification involves —

1. Mechanical pacing of work.
2. Repetitive work process, such as those on the assembly line;
3. Working is only one part of the product;
4. Predetermining tools and techniques;
5. Restricted interaction among employees; and
6. Few skill requirements.

Work simplification is done so that, the less trained and the less paid employee can do these jobs.

Work simplification is adopted when job designers feel that, jobs are not specialized enough. The technique is defective in the sense that, over specialization results in boredom which in turn can lead to errors and resignation.

Job Rotation: It is not possible all the time to eliminate the undesirable aspects of a job, by redesigning or automating the job. An excellent way to handle such a job is to move employees to do this job for a short period of time and then move them out. Many people find it undesirable to work in the grave yard shift i.e. from midnight until morning (night shift). Round the clock work required in service organizations such as hospital, fire force and police. It may be undesirable, but people are needed to work round the clock in some of these Service Organizations. People are moved into and out of such shifts. They can be rotated in and out of these jobs. Rotating employees among different jobs can reduce boredom and monotony and it exposes the employees to a broader perspective of the entire production process.