People Management Challenges and Choices


Human resource management is a very crucial function in any modern organization that seeks to achieve its objectives and the issue of job design and flexibility has in the past proved to be the supporting pillars with regards to attaining set objectives. This is because people are the most important asset of an organization as compared to other assets that aid in running an organization. Organizations need people and people need organizations. Organizations have a human purpose and they are always formed and maintained based on mutuality of interest among their participants. People see organizations as a means to help them to attain their goals while organizations need people to accomplish their objectives. Therefore if mutuality is missing, it makes no sense in trying to assemble a group and develop cooperation because there is no common base on which to build.

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Job design and flexibility are all about the relative ranking of an individual job in relation to other jobs that exist within the group. This also refers to a technique used in the ranking of jobs in an organization. This is normally carried out on the basis of various responsibilities and duties that are assigned to the specific job or task. The results of the job evaluation process include the job being assigned a specific range of payment, duties, and flexibility among other factors. Job design as a management tool has been used by employers and HR managers for approximately more than seventy-five years and this management tool has been used both in the private and in the public sector. Basing on some generic factors, the value of each job is well defined in the job design process (Torrington and Hall, 2004).

Background of Challenges Faced by HR Managers

Job design and issues relating to the flexibility of the workforce are very important to employers and managers. The reason why job design as a management tool should be fully utilized is that it plays a big role in solving HR managers’ challenges such as employee turnover rate. One of the steps involved in job design is benchmarking the jobs whereby this is done in relation to the jobs that have been evaluated before. In this case, the benchmarked jobs are those that are commonly included in salary surveys found in most organizations. In this process, the benchmarked jobs of internal pay structures are related to the external structures existing in the labor market which has been a challenge to HR managers in the contemporary world.

Organizations are faced with unending conflicts and job design and flexibility issues are very important to employers. This is because; research shows that job design helps in minimizing conflicts in the organization since the job evaluation process results in a good employer-employee relationship particularly on the issues regarding job flexibility and pay rate among other issues which are the main challenges faced by the modern human resource manager. This is normally clear to employees in the organization. When job evaluation is carried out in an organization, it results in fairness in terms of payment rates given to various jobs in the organization (People Management Magazine, 2008).

According to employers and managers in both the private and public sectors, job structures have made their work far much simpler but they are faced with the challenge of putting in place such structures which are flexible and fit to all employees. This is because, once an organization has carried out job design, it becomes simpler to fit new jobs into the previously set pay structures. It is understood that in every organization, new posts and vacancies always come up which were not existing in the organization. In this case, employers just use the existing structures to slot in the new pay rate for the created post (Landy, 1993).

Job design also helps in encouraging healthy competition within organizations; a challenge that is quite robust to be handled by HR managers. When job design and flexibility analysis is carried out by employers and managers, there are various factors that they normally consider. For instance, the level of education of the employees is a factor that is really put into consideration. The experience one has in performing the task is also considered. These factors are normally well spelled out to employees in the organization. This normally acts as a motivation structure for employees in the organization. Research shows that in organizations where job design is carried out, employees are more motivated and thus production efficiency is high (Mick and Adrian, 2005).

Employees strived to gain more experience in their specific jobs. This helps managers and employers to accrue qualified personnel in the organization. This is because job design normally goes hand in hand with employee appraisal. That is why employees strive to climb up the ladder in the organization and the desire to outdoor have a pay rate like that of their colleagues. This explains why job design coupled with issues of flexibility as a management tool refuses to go out of fashion despite the period that it has existed in the business sector.

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One of the steps encompassed in the job design process is determining the relative worthiness of the job in the organization and this too is a challenge faced by HR Managers in this contemporary business world. In this case, HR managers are faced with various challenges that go along with jobs in the organization and they have a duty to determine how important they are to the organization. This is important because it helps employers and managers to do away with positions that are not very fundamental in the organization. This is very important to many business organizations because many of them lose large lump sums of money paying employees that they do not actually need in the first place. This helps organizations to save large sums of money that are normally paid to these employees. This also helps employers to create posts in the organization that are fundamental or those that are needed most. This results in the general success of the organization (Prien, 1977).

Another challenge faced by HR Managers is that determining pay grades job design and flexibility is very effective in arriving at perfect wage rates. The entire process of job design bases wage determination on various factors like education and experience of the employees. Pay grades can also be designed based on the general performance of the employees. This, however, is a challenge to human resource managers since it is very subjective and there are some jobs that performance cannot be measured. In jobs like sales, the performance of the employee can be measured basing on the number of sales. In this case pay grades can be determined in relation to the employees’ general performance (Mick and Adrian, 2005).

Job Design and Human Resource Managers Choices

Job design simply entails the examination of the tasks that are obligatory in the performance of a specific job. Job analysis and design can also refer to the various methodologies used in analyzing a job requirement such as defining job domain, writing description of the job, training, and development of needs appraisals, promotion and recruitment, reward systems, and management mapping/analysis. Therefore HR Managers are faced with the challenges of selecting appropriate choices of strategies of job designs that will assist them in the area of job design and flexibility. Such job design strategies that human resource managers should choose from include; Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ) which is in a form of a questionnaire that is intended to be completed by a qualified professional analyst who has the responsibility of interviewing the subject matter specialists such as job/occupation incumbents. There is also Functional Job Analysis (FJA) which is considered to be work-oriented where constituents are scored with regards to data relatedness, things, and persons with lower scores indicating superior intricacy. Under this method, reliance is based upon those in the desired position who have the duty to report essentials of their jobs to job analysts (Torrington and Hall, 2004).

Common Metric Questionnaire (CMQ) is another method of job design and involves examining both non-exempt and exempt tasks and always consists of several sections i.e. background, interactions with individuals, the process of decision making, physical and motorized actions, and job setting. Each section comes with different questions that are relevant to job experts who will be required to answer. The other method of job analysis is that of the Ability Requirement Scales method which entails for categorize tasks to be carried out by different workers through the application of seven scales to describe what workers are intended to perform. The scales are as follows things, information, individuals, employee instructions, and way of thinking, math and language scales where each of these scales has numerous levels that are attached with precise behavioral assertions and descriptive responsibilities. Another method is that of the Job Element Method which is designed as a job-oriented technique and is mainly utilized with lesser skilled employees. Critical Incident Technique is another method and centers on discovering the crucial incidents that differentiate a satisfactory workforce from an unsatisfactory workforce (Landy, 1993). This is founded on the premise that certain responsibilities are vital to acceptable position performance, whereas other responsibilities are not vital. In this technique, the professional analyst interrogates those in the office to discover a list of decisive occurrences. The other method is that of Management Position Description Questionnaire which is like PAQ but involves analyzing the senior positions through administration of descriptive questionnaires either closed or open questionnaires to the incumbents of the jobs.

Most organization’s human resource managers utilize the above methods depending on the availability of resources and other factors that will contribute to the success of job design procedures. However, human resource managers should utilize the PAQ technique since it involves examining the positions of incumbents. The administering of questionnaires to incumbents by the job analyst will always produce good results since the job holder will provide all the necessary information required by the analysts in the completed questionnaire. (Prien, 1977).

Importance of Job design and Flexibility

Job design and Flexibility strategies in essence may be referred to as calculated means by which an organization’s Human Resource Department deploys its human resources to accomplish its purpose and basic objectives under the most advantageous circumstances. This implies that both strategies define the direction in which the organization intends to move and establish the framework of action through which it intends to get there due to the efficiency of the workforce. Therefore for the attainment of organizational effectiveness, human resource is the most important asset that must be paid attention to by the management and particularly by designing their jobs to suit or be flexible to the changing modern business world. Human resource has the responsibility to formulate strategies of job design within the organization and they have to ensure flexibility thus leading to efficiency in productivity of the organization. It is obvious that all firms in the different sectors of the economy aim to gain a competitive edge over their rivals by practicing Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) that encompasses both job design and flexibility (Dworaczek, 1991).


In essence job, design and flexibility encompass ranking jobs in an organization. This management tool is very critical not only to human resource managers but to the whole organization at large in that it improves the efficiency of production. This is because job design and flexibility greatly help in reducing employee turnover in an organization. For instance job, design, and flexibility help an organization’s entire management to reduce grievances that are wage-related (Mick and Adrian, 2005). For instance, with job analysis and analysis of issues relating to work flexibility managers in the process tend to come up with simple pay structures that are easily understood by all employees. Job design and flexibility on the other hand also helps in creating healthy competition among employees.

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Dworaczek, M. (1991): Job Evaluation at Work; New York; Longman.

Landy, F (1993): Job analysis and job evaluation: The respondent’s perspective.

Mick, M. and Adrian, W. (2005): Human resource Management at work: People management and development. 3rd Edition, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Personnel selection and assessment; Individual and organizational perspectives; Hillsdale; NJ; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Prien, E. (1977): The function of job analysis in content validation. Personnel Psychology, Vol 30.

Torrington, D. and Hall, L. (2004): Human Resource Management; 6thEdition: FT Prentice Hall.

People Management Magazine, (2008): HR Practice. Web.

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