JOB CHARACTERISTIC MODEL

In the 1960’s, a research conducted by industrial psychologists and management theorists stated that repetitive tasks given to employees were leading to demotivation in them and the mundane technique of production line work was resulting in lesser productivity among the workforce. Hackman and Oldham, designed a corporate psychology model named – The Job Characteristics Model, based on this research. These two psychologists proclaimed that job tasks are itself a motivation for the employees. Their theory also approved the fact that, monotonous job work causes dissatisfaction among people, whereas a challenging job enhances motivation. The Job Characteristics Model incorporates five core constituents – Skill Variety, Task Identity, Task Significance, Autonomy and Feedback.

  • SKILL VARIETY – It incorporates questions related to, job variety, if the job is challenging enough and whether the job profile monotonous and too easy for the employee. Generally, an employee does perceive a benefit if he/she gets a job profile consisting of various skills sets. A variety in skills at a workplace helps one to work better, learn more, create a happier corporate environment and also encourages one to get creative while tackling different situations.

For Instance – A construction site painter has a lesser skill variety than a corporate event planner who regularly gets in touch with new people, plans and executes several events.

  • TASK IDENTITY – Being able to identify with the work given and taking pride in outcome of the work completed, is essential to build a satisfied employee. Rather than constantly rendering employees with a single portion of a project, allowing them to handle the entire project, results in a happier employee. The degree of noticeable work completed by a single employee and him being identified by it, is an essential component of Task Identity.

For Instance – The Aston Martin cars designed by Ford Motors in England, has its every engine handmade and autographed by a single craftsman after 16 weeks of completion of the model.

  • TASK SIGNIFICANCE – It refers to the degree to which a worker feels his/her job contributes to the overall efforts of the organization and to the world at large. The workers perceive their job as meaningful when the significance of the task performed by them is high and vice versa. Research explains how increasing task significance is connected to enhancement of job performance.

For Instance – A web designer who curates a corporate web profile for XYZ firm single handedly, experiences a greater task significance than a worker working in a product assembly line.

  • AUTONOMY – It is associated with the freedom that a worker gets in an organization. The independence to plan the workday and set up new procedures that one would like to follow, increases the sense of responsibility in employee, which in turn contributes to a greater motivational force. Allowing the employees to decide their pace of work, order of task completion or even letting them have a greater control over their tasks encourages them to work better. So, as long as the standards of work are met and the work gets completed within the stipulated period of time, it is upto the individual employee to decide how the work can be carried out.

For Instance – The firm ‘Google’ is known for the autonomy that it provides to the staff. This has helped them to foster a happier work environment by ensuring that the staff feels valued.

  • FEEDBACK – It is a constructive method to ensure a steady development in the work. Effective feedback given by seniors is essential for employees to understand their current level of performance, provides a sense of engagement and activity and lets them know what can be done by them to reach a higher level. It helps promote positive changes, set new bars for the team, and gives an individual an overall realistic view of the happenings in the firm.

For Instance – Employing Positive, Negative or Corrective forms of feedback is said to create a clear and honest flow of communication between various levels of employees.

Several companies face the issues of employee absenteeism, higher rates of employee turnover, late marks and at times lower levels of employee productivity. The only modus operandi of tackling these issues is – ‘Employee Satisfaction’. Job Satisfaction helps the employees to work passionately, deliver their level best and stick to the organization even in the worst case scenarios. Doug Conant has rightly said, “To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace”.