Work simplification

Work simplification
See also

Work simplification is an increase in efficiency (cost savings) by reducing the number of tasks that an employee must perform. Work simplification is based on the principles of scientific management and industrial engineering. Planned tasks should be simple, repetitive, and standardized. By reducing the complexity of the employee has the opportunity to focus on the implementation of a greater number of certain routine tasks. The organization can use a little trained staff, which allows it to achieve a high level of efficiency. Employees easily substitute each other because they do not need to possess complex skills, in-depth knowledge and experience.

The main characteristics of the work[edit]

Richard Hackman and Greg Oldham developed a rather interesting approach to work organization, which is called the model of job characteristics. The study of Hackman and Oldham was devoted to the redesign (reorganization) of labor, that is, changing the content of labor, both to improve the quality of the work experience of workers and to improve labor productivity. Scientists who have studied the organization of hundreds of different works have created a model of job characteristics. This model consists of three parts: key characteristics (measurements) of work, decisive (extremely important) psychological states of an employee and the strength of an employee’s growth needs [1].

  • A variety of skills: This refers to the number of different activities that make up the work, and the number of skills needed to perform it. For example, the repetitive actions of a working assembly line are characterized by a low level of diversity, while applied research, which includes a daily solution of new problems, is characterized by a high level of diversity.
  • Finality of the task :The degree to which an employee performs all the work from beginning to end. For example, the chef who cooks all the food in full, the completeness of the job is higher than that of the production line worker in the cafeteria who puts the mashed potatoes in a bowl.
  • The significance of the task: The degree to which a task is perceived as important and relevant to the company or consumers. For example, employees who distribute antibiotics and other essential medicines feel that their work is important to other people.
  • Autonomy: The degree to which an employee is free has the right of choice and is independent in planning and executing the task. The house painter at painting houses can determine how to paint the house; The worker for painting parts on the conveyor has little autonomy.
  • Feedback: A measure in which the execution of a work is ensured by providing information to the employee about its results. Tasks may vary significantly in terms of providing employees with the opportunity to see the results of their efforts. For example, a football coach knows whether a team has won or lost, and a basic research scientist can expect results for several years indicating that his research project has been successful.

The model of job characteristics shows that the more these five main characteristics are present in the work, the more motivated the employee is, the higher the results and the quality of his work, and the more he is satisfied with the work [2].

Steps to simplify the work[edit]

Below are four consistent steps to simplify the work:

  • Analyzing the entire work process.
  • Elimination of unnedeed parts of the process.
  • Combining the rest of the work process.
  • Simplify the required parts of the process.

Methods to simplify the work[edit]

There are many methods to simplify the work, the main of which are:

  • Pareto principle:

The principle, or the 80/20 rule, was formulated in the 19th century by the Italian economist D. Pareto and has not undergone any changes since then, remaining almost a universal measure of human efficiency in various areas of life. His account can greatly facilitate our vain (or filled with an incomprehensible meaning) existence. Proceeding from it, in the list of 10 everyday affairs, only 2 cases will provide you 80 percent of the planned success.The main thing is to define them precisely and make them priorities. And the remaining 8 can be left undone, because the value of their results will be much less [3].

The rule proposed by Dwight Eisenhower is a simple aid, especially for those cases when it is necessary to quickly decide on which task to give preference to. According to this rule, priorities are set according to criteria such as urgency and importance of the case. The importance of the case is determined by how much the result of doing it affects your work. Urgency - how quickly you need to do this thing.


  1. Hackman R., Oldham G. (1976), p.252
  2. Hussein A. (2018), p.352-363"
  3. Kaplow L., Shavell S. (2001), p.10


Author: Valeriia Nezdolii