More often than not, employees either express or feel dissatisfied with their jobs. The main reason for putting up with the dissatisfaction can be seen as the need to service their mortgage, pay bills and secure a decent livelihood for themselves and their dependents. They often wish they had a choice to move elsewhere, but even if they manage to relocate, the same feeling creeps in soon. This cycle can be repeated and, in severe cases, lead to hopelessness due to continually unfulfilled expectations. Waking up in the morning becomes a bad experience every day. This contradicts the purpose of life, which is to pursue happiness and joy, and dramatically reduces workers’ productivity.
The most accurate explanation of the boredom and fatigue that breeds dissatisfaction at the workplace is the famous statement that familiarity breeds contempt. This is the closest explanation to the puzzling phenomenon whereby an unemployed person aggressively searches for employment only to develop hate for their work in months.
Job redesigning involves making strategic alterations in the tasks, roles, and responsibilities at the workplace to improve the morale, drive, and enthusiasm leading to an overall rise in workers’ productivity. This benefits both the institution in terms of enhanced delivery of services by workers and the workers themselves, who feel more hopeful and satisfied with their daily undertaking. Job redesigning mainly focuses on improving an organization’s coordination, productivity, and overall product quality and responding to the workers’ needs for learning, encountering challenges, gaining more responsibilities, and achievement (Cunningham & Eberle, 1990).
Traditional organizational theorists developed a set of principles to guide improving efficiency in the workplace. Most emphases were on the use of rational administration procedures and practices. Clear and unambiguous channels of control, centrality in decision making, and division of labor were seen as key to enhancing productivity among workers (Reeve, 2001). In addition, they popularized the notion of “efficiency from specialization” among employers. This led to the development of some principles to manage the workplace:
- The focus shifted to finding ways to perform each specific task efficiently. Their view was that a combination of several efficiently performed tasks meant excellent overall productivity.
- Recruitment was done by strictly matching the job requirements for optimal performance.
- The motivation of workers was mainly by offering rewards based on the evaluation of each day’s work about the set standards.
- As can be seen, the notion was that the worker would be more productive on clearly structured repetitive tasks (Slocum, 1981).
- Assessment of my accounts management job.
My accounts management job entails handling clients’ accounts in an advertising company. This involves ensuring that all clients’ records are accurate and up to date and that they tally with their records. In addition, it entails reconciling payments made against the total debts owed to us by the clients. Any disparities between the client’s records and ours must be corrected through regular correspondence and reported to the chief accountant.
A critical look at the scope of work portrays a very narrow room for maneuver. In the case of a mismatch in the balances unpaid by the customer, my role is confined to establishing the facts and reporting this to the chief accountant for further action.
Verifying payments against the balances unpaid by customers has to be performed daily upon the duplicate customer records. This creates an eternal loop, with every new day similar to the last one. In the eight months that I have been there, the boredom has been building.
Similarly, there is very minimal responsibility accompanying my work. My only responsibility is to ensure client records are okay. A different person does any follow-ups with the clients. I am left out in the corrective mechanisms undertaken after my reporting, and thus, there lacks a sense of accomplishment in my tasks.
Still, there exists minimal opportunity to apply my thoughts. The structures at the firm are such that decisions flow from top to bottom. What the seniors decide is what carries the day. Therefore, my thoughts on how we can deal with defaulting clients are of no use. Despite my recognizable communication and interpersonal skills, this can be very helpful in handling customers. This has led me to accept all decisions as they come, yet I am the person who best understands the complexity of the problems and the sources of errors.
There exists no outright reward system for the position I hold. Except for the regular salaries and allowances, no other offers are available for those in the firm’s accounting section. Occasional awards will be offered at the year-end parties, but this mainly falls on the senior officers who have more visible and recognizable tasks.
In addition, there’s minimal feedback from seniors on the quality of my work. They do not revere my creation as being severe and of critical importance to the firm’s well-being, yet they hired me. This is mainly because I am not involved in the actual production process that generates revenues for the firm.
Proposal on redesigning the job
As can be observed, the account management job is not motivating, and neither does it offers adequate opportunities for growth and self-development.
My proposal on redesigning my work to be more fruitful is based on six main aspects of job redesigning as proposed by Slocum J. They include:
- Job enrichment
- Job enlargement
- Job reengineering
- Job Rotation
- Goal setting and
- Social technical
Enriching the job would entail effecting changes that would ensure that the job involves doing something seen as worthwhile to me. The key to doing this is ensuring four key areas are addressed. The first is ensuring that the job involves the entire unit rather than a portion. For example, concerning account management, the job description should include doing follow-ups with customers and seeing that disparities in clients’ accounts are solved instead of just reporting (Reeve, 2001). Secondly, variations in terms of skills required should be included. For example, my good interpersonal and communication skills can be honed by constantly utilizing them while handling clients. Also, the tasks’ significance to the organization should be visible and apparent. This will help create a feeling of self-worth among all staff members.
Job reengineering would entail utilizing time and motion studies to maximize efficiency. This implies that the frequency of disparities arising and the period taken to resolve them should be analyzed to identify the possible idle time utilized in other tasks (Reeve, 2001). This should eliminate boredom and improve output by ensuring everyone is committed to something at any time during working hours.
Job rotation entails adding variety to the job by allowing workers to handle other tasks. This would be very effective in eliminating boredom by creating new challenges for us, creating an exciting and enjoyable workplace with minimal effects of repeatedly performing the same tasks.
Goal setting would help in establishing objectives and incentives for the job. For example, in the accounting job, clear goals in keeping precise records and ensuring minimal errors occur on our part should be set. This would imply more objective and goal-oriented workers and hence better performance. In addition, rewards should be offered to those whose work stands out regardless of their levels of operation.
The social-technical element involves balancing the job’s technical and social aspects (Reeve, 2001). For example, working on computers throughout the day with no meaningful interaction with workmates or clients can be tiresome and counterproductive. Therefore, tasks should be arranged so that they allow for adequate social interaction amidst the use of machines.
The application of these elements of job redesigning would go a long way in improving productivity and the lives of employees. The high turnover rate in most workplaces is explained by job dissatisfaction even more than remuneration. Creating a working environment that values the employee and enables them to contribute even more than they may be required is a recipe for a highly productive and happy workforce that translates to royalty towards the employer and improved profits for the business owners.
Cunningham J. & Eberle T. (1990). A guide to job enrichment and redesign. American Management Association, 67(2), 56
Reeve, J. (2001). Understanding Motivation and Emotion (3rd Ed). London: John Wiley & Sons.
Slocum J. (1981) Job Redesign: Improving the Quality of Work. Journal of Experiential Learning and Simulation. 3, 17-36.