Behavioral Approach of Job Design

Behavioral Approach

This approach considers behavioral factors in job design. Employee needs in terms of autonomy, variety, task identify, task significance, and feedback are considered. The methods are:

a) Job Enrichment: It adds new sources of satisfaction to jobs. Jobs are made challenging and meaningful by increasing responsibilities are added to the job, usually with less supervision and more self-evaluation. workers get greater autonomy in planning and controlling their performance. It is also known as "vertical loading" of job. The steps in job environment are
  • Select jobs, which are suitable for enrichment; identify changes needed.
  • Change contents of the job to provide autonomy, control responsibility, achievement, and advancement.
  • Train and guide employees.
  • Integrate enriched jobs into work schedule.
- It leads to increased motivation and job satisfaction.
- It satisfies higher level needs of the employees; job outcomes improve; job status increases.
- It stimulates improvements in other areas of the organization.
- It empowers employees; provides feedback to correct performances.
- It leads to reduce turnover and lower absenteeism; employee development is facilitated.
- Unions may resist job enrichment; employees may refuse to accept enriched jobs with new responsibilities.
- The costs of design and implementation are high for job enrichment; training costs can be high.
- It focuses on the job only and ignores other variables that contribute to quality of work life (QWL).
- Managers may be unwilling to delegate authority; supportive work environment may be lacking.
- Job enrichment is only a tool; it is not universally applicable, it is situation specific.

b) Autonomous Teams (Self-directed Team): Autonomous teams are a group of employees with widely defined jobs and responsibilities to achieve specific goal. Team members are: highly committed; decide collectively; interact continuously; work closely, determine work assignments and working methods and practice self-supervision.

- Autonomous teams generally achieve high productivity and quality.
- Supervision costs are reduced.
- Team spirit with employee empowerment is realized.
- Greater involvement of employees in decision making; greater employees commitment.
- Employees, managers and unions resist autonomous teams.
- Cooperation among team members may be difficult.
- Efficiency of the team may be low.

c) Modified Works Schedules: The work schedule is modified. The techniques can be
  • Shorter work week; worker work ten hours each day for four days. It provides mere leisure to employees. Turnover and reduced absenteeism.
  • Flexible time
  • Job sharing
  • Homework

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