Job Redesign is the approach to revisiting and restructuring jobs to meet the specific needs of a particular segment of the workforce.
Segmenting the Workforce
Different segments of the workforce have different expectations and a job cannot meet the varied expectations of all workers and job seekers. Some jobs might be particularly appealing to fresh school leavers, while other jobs may appeal to middle aged professionals. Some jobs appeal to men more than women (or vice versa), and other jobs may appeal to specific age groups.
Segmenting the workforce and identifying the ideal profile of worker for each job allows the employer to tailor the job specifically to attract and retain the specific employees. For example, an employer may decide to hire mature workers (aged 55 and above) to be customer service officers, because he feels that mature workers are more patient, and are better able to manage conflicts. How should he go about attracting the mature worker?
Enter job redesign. Once a target profile of worker has been determined, the needs of the worker can be identified. Jobs can be designed specifically to appeal to the expectations of the workforce. For example, mature workers may be less interested in career progression pathways than their younger counterparts. Seniors might be more keen on flexi-work and part-time work. Seniors might prefer a job that is not too physically taxing, or not be to technologically complex.
Job redesign takes these needs and expectations into account and designs a job that meets as many of the needs of the target workforce as possible. Job redesign addresses the following design considerations:
- How can the job be designed to facilitate job sharing or part-time work?
- How can the physically demanding aspects fo the job be minimised?
- Which tasks should remain as part of the job and which should be removed?
- Should the job be specialised, or should it be more wide-ranging?
- Should that new technology be used?
- What level of remuneration would be meaningful?
- How should job performance be measured?
- How should the physical environemnt be adjusted to suit the workforce profile?
- How will other jobs be impacted by changes in this job?
Job redesign can take many forms. The following are some of the more common approaches:
- job enlargement – getting a job holder to do more (typically of a similar level of work)
- job enhancement – getting a job holder to do more value added work (typically by transferring work and responsibilities from the next higher level)
- job sharing – splitting the job such that the work is completed by 2 or more people
Job redesign has the potential to make jobs meaningful and appealing to workers. Applied properly, and in concert with process redesign, job redesign can yield remarkable results in terms of productivity, talent attraction, and talent retention.
Outcomes of Job Redesign
The outcomes of job redesign are either the improved attraction or improved retention of the desired workforce segment.