Motivation and job designing
A job design can be defined as "the process of linking specific tasks
to specific jobs and deciding what techniques, equipment and procedures
should be used to perform those tasks.
It's the design content of a job to increase motivation and encourage
workers to perform well, enjoy their work so that the worker derives a
sense of achievement, worthwhile accomplishment or other intrinsic
rewards" (Job Design Defined, 2008).
Traditionally, jobs have been designed on the basis of the scientific
management approach with a high level of specialisation and strict
However nowadays managers are more concerned about a variety of
factors when designing a job as firms have understood that the correct
job design can help a company to become successful and competitive in
By reflecting on personality and motivation, managers can
produce superior job designs.
A job must be designed in order to yield maximum job satisfaction,
motivation and performance from the employees. In order to do so, the
personalities of the employees who undertake the job should be taken
"Understanding someone's personality gives us clues about how that
person is likely to act and feel in a variety of situations. In order to
effectively manage organizational behaviour, an understanding of
different employees' personalities is helpful" (Individual Differences:
Values and Personality, 2009).
According to McGregor's theory X and Y there are "assumptions
managers hold about basic nature of their employees. Theory X: dislike
work and attempt to avoid it, must be coerced, threatened and punished,
will shirk responsibilities and seek direction, place security first and
display little ambition and Theory Y: view work as natural, will
exercise control if committed to objectives, can learn to accept and
seek responsibility, creativity is widely dispersed throughout
workforce" (McGregor and Theory X and Y, 2010). Such an understanding
would enable managers to design jobs which will be able to satisfy and
motivate subordinates, which will in turn increase their performance.
For an employee who is in accordance with Theory Y, the manager
should seek to design a job with responsibility and self direction
elements. For the other type, the job should be designed with routine,
unchallenging tasks. If the job is designed without taking the
personality into concern, it's very unlikely that the individual would
be able to perform his/her best. A good job design should accommodate
employees' mental and physical characteristics.
In order to make the best use of employees, managers should have an
understanding of what motivates them.
According to Herzberg's two factor theory, "recognition, achievement,
possibility of growth, advancement, responsibility are motivators while
status, pay, interpersonal relationships, supervision, job security,
working conditions are considered to be hygiene factors" (Perry, 2009).
A job should be designed in such a way that employees are motivated
to do the job with enthusiasm. Life would be simple for managers if all
employees valued all the job motivation factors equally but some
employees are driven by money while others value recognition above
anything else. Managers should "favour interest, over skills in
assigning work. It's much easier to teach skills than to generate
A highly skilled disinterested worker typically does not perform as
well as an interested less skilled worker" (Managing human resources,
Hackman and Oldham propose that high motivation is related to
experiencing three psychological states whilst working, namely:
meaningfulness of work, responsibility and knowledge of outcomes.
"Knowing these critical job characteristics, it is then possible to
derive the key components of the design of a job: varying work to enable
skill variety, assigning work to groups to increase the wholeness of the
product produced and give a group to enhance significance, delegate
tasks to their lowest possible level to create autonomy and hence
responsibility (Job design and motivation, 2010).
Such job designs would give employees a sense of accomplishment and
enthusiasm in completing their tasks to perfection.
By understanding the differences of personalities and motivating
factors jobs can be designed to satisfy the employees. When employees
are satisfied, the sense of belongingness to the organization grows in
leaps and bounds.
Staff will be willing to go the extra mile without complaint. Since
it is the managers who knows their subordinates well, not only the HR
manager but also the line managers should be involved in job designing.
Job rotation, job enlargement and job enrichment can be carried out
through job design, after understanding the personalities and the
motivators of the employees. Individuals bring a number of differences
to work, such as unique personalities, values, emotions, and moods.
These differences could be used to the advantage of a business
entity, if taken into account when a job is designed.