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How Does Job Design Work?

Job design requires a number of steps in order to be successful. The following steps are effective in developing a working job design:

  1. First, assess the way your company handles its tasks. Is your method efficient? Are there things you could change in order to utilize labor better? How can you save money? One company, for example, sent out a weekly newsletter to its sales reps in all 50 states each Friday, so they would have it by Monday. They found that by sending out the newsletter on Thursday instead of Friday, they were able to bypass paying extra for shipping. As a result, they saved over $300 a week on shipping costs. This seemingly-obvious resolution was made after an assessment over company practices was made.
  2. Next, identify what the tasks are step-by-step. If your company has a deadline for a proposal, for example, sit down and determine step by step what needs to be done in order to reach the deadlines. This could be making an outline, contacting the appropriate people, making assignments, and breaking them down into smaller deadlines.
  3. Determine the number of employees required to complete the task. Some companies are surprised to learn they can actually save money by hiring more people. For example, let's say a company was hurrying to fill orders in order to get them out for the morning shipment. Their 4 employees averaged 3 hours of overtime each, which translates to time and a half for each employee for the 3 hours. The employer determined that by hiring one extra person part-time to help fill the orders, he was saving money by not having to pay overtime.
  4. Next, determine how the company will go about completing the tasks. This could include listing out tasks, steps, making schedules, determining the equipment needs, and figuring out what resources are required.
  5. Evaluate. Remember that an effective job design plan requires continual evaluation. There will always be areas to improve upon. Encourage employee feedback and continue implementing incentives for employees who suggest job design that could be beneficial to the company.
Putting It All Together Effective job design will result in a number of benefits for the company, including increased productivity, saved money, and improved morale, especially when employees have a say in the way things are run.
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