Job design

From CEOpedia | Management online

Job Design can be defined as the process used by companies to create new jobs by setting out the tasks and responsibilities or to make adjustments to the functions covered by an existing job, and it is an effective tool because it makes it easier to achieve the organization's interests and meet the needs of employees.

According to Durai, he describes job design as "the combination of job content and the method of work that has been adopted in the performance of the job" [1].

Similary, Ali and Arrosiya, they cite that job design "is the function of organizing tasks, duties and responsibilities in an organizational unit of work" [2].

According to Parker, he defines job design as "the content, structure and organization of a person's tasks and activities" [3].

Job design in a company

It is important to note that there are three key aspects to consider when designing a workplace: job rotation, job enrichment and job enlargement. These aspects can be used to encourage, involve and engage employees in their workplace [4] , [5].

  • Job rotation: is the process that allows workers to be moved from one place to another as a learning function for them, as they are given the opportunity to perform a variety of tasks making workers multi-skilled.

It should be noted that in order for rotation to be effective and for employees not to be rotated to unsuitable workplaces, the following factors should be taken into account:

  • Skills, knowledge and abilities of the worker.
  • Sex of the employee.
  • Physical requirements for the job.
  • The time it takes to complete the new task.

In addition, rotation provides many benefits, such as higher employee efficiency, higher productivity, higher worker retention, higher motivation... At the same time, it reduces employee boredom and reduces absenteeism.

  • Job enlargement: this involves combining different jobs by adding more functions and tasks. This means that employees remain at the same level of hierarchy in the company, even if there are a variety of different functions or tasks.

Importantly, this technique is used to increase employees'commitment to their current roles, to increase the attractiveness of the workplace, to make them more versatile and, most importantly, to avoid boredom. Similarly, there are two types of workplace extensions:

  • Horizontal enlargement: refers to the degree to which a workplace contains many tasks. This method will reduce the level of specialization, job boredom, difficult tasks and allow employees to develop new skills.
  • Vertical expansion: refers to the degree to which workers decide how they will carry out the task. This second approach can enhance workers' self-fulfillment needs and status.
  • Job enrichment: This technique allows employees to gain more authority and responsibilities within the company. It is used to increase productivity in the workplace by empowering employees to use their skills, making them feel more motivated, important and satisfied.

Similarly, there are some aspects to consider, such as:

  • Variety
  • Belief that the task is important
  • Use of skills
  • Feedback

It is important to emphasize that workplace design is crucial in several aspects, such as:

  • Employee health and well-being
  • Job satisfaction and engagement
  • Employee learning
  • Behaviors such as productivity, absenteeism, initiative and innovation.

In addition, the personal characteristics of workers play an important role in design because they influence how employees perceive and seek certain features of the workplace.

Psychological perception

When explaining the three main factors for job design, psychological perception must be taken into account [6].

Psychological perception is a factor that influences the relationship between job design and employee performance. This means that if employees are satisfied with their work, they will be more committed to the tasks. So, if we link work to employment, it must be challenging and interesting, because when workers are fully engaged in their tasks, their performance increases.

Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory

Next, Herzberg's 1968 two-factor theory will be explained, which was the first important model to establish a clear relationship between job design and employee motivation, [7].

First, Herzberg's theory is based on Maslow's pyramid of needs, which according to him identifies certain aspects of the job that lead to employee satisfaction and other aspects that lead to dissatisfaction.

  • Dissatisfaction: occurs when workers feel deprived of their physical and animal needs due to hygiene factors, such as safety, decent pay, safe working conditions, etc.
  • Satisfaction: refers to human needs that are directed towards growth and influenced by achievement, responsibility and recognition.

Herzberg based his work on the difference between basic animal needs and growth needs, where he inspired McGregor to develop Theory X and Theory Y. On the one hand, Theory X states that workers are passive and lazy and need to be motivated. On the other hand, Theory Y sees employees as proactive and growth-oriented individuals.

Secondly, Herzberg was the first to develop a clearly defined work design model. In addition, he pointed out the importance of fair pay and good working conditions. He also called for attention to be paid to opportunities to learn and develop.

Finally, he suggested that workplaces can be more motivating when additional, more challenging tasks are added.

Final conclusion

After the research and analysis of job design, it can be concluded that it is a very important aspect that companies must pay a lot of attention to if they want the process of creating the job to be efficient. This will allow them to foster employee interest in the job and increase job satisfaction, while achieving all the objectives set by the organisation.


  1. Belias, D., & Sklikas, D. (2013), p.85-86
  2. Belias, D., & Sklikas, D. (2013), p.85-86
  3. Broeck, A.V., & Parker, S.K. (2017), p.3
  4. Belias, D., & Sklikas, D. (2013), p.86-88
  5. Memoona Zareen K.R, & Bahaudin, M. (2013), p.49
  6. Memoona Zareen K.R, & Bahaudin, M. (2013), p.49
  7. Broeck, A.V., & Parker, S.K. (2017), p.7

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Author: Zaira Bancells Guerrero,Mónica Guijarro Bernabeu,Gabriela Varela Barker