Thursday, December 3, 2015

Conducting a Job Analysis (Gary Dessler)

There are six steps in doing a job analysis, as follows.

Step 1: Decide how you’ll use the information Some data collection techniques—like interviewing the employee—are good for writing job descriptions. Other techniques, like the position analysis questionnaire we describe later, provide numerical ratings for each job; these can be used to compare jobs for compensation purposes.

Step 2: Review relevant background information such as organization charts, process charts, and job descriptions.Organization charts show the organization-wide division of  work, and where the job fits in the overall organization. The chart should show the title of each position and, by means of interconnecting lines, who reports to whom and with whom the job incumbent communicates. A process chart provides a more detailed picture of the workflow, particularly the flow of inputs to and outputs from the job you’re analyzing. (In Figure 2, the quality control clerk reviews components from suppliers, checks components going to the plant managers, and gives information regarding component’s quality to these managers.) Finally, the existing job description, if there is one, usually provides a starting point for building the revised job description.

WORKFLOW ANALYSIS AND JOB REDESIGN Job analysis tasks such as reviewing current job descriptions enable the manager to list what a job’s duties and demands are now. Job analysis does not answer questions such as “Should this job even exist?” To answer such questions, one must conduct a workflow analysis. You may then deem it necessary to redesign the job. Workflow analysis is a detailed study of the flow of work from job to job in a work process. Usually, the analyst focuses on one identifiable work process (such as processing an insurance claim), rather than on how the company gets all its work done. The accompanying HR as a Profit Center feature illustrates workflow analysis.

BUSINESS PROCESS RE-ENGINEERING workflow analysis also illustrates business process re-engineering. Business process re-engineering means redesigning business processes, usually by combining steps, so that small multi function teams using information technology do the jobs formerly done by a sequence of departments. The basic approach is to:

1. Identify a business process to be redesigned (such as approving a mortgage application).

2. Measure the performance of the existing process.

3. Identify opportunities to improve this process.

4. Redesign and implement a new way of doing the work.

5. Assign ownership of sets of formerly separate tasks to an individual or a team that uses new computerized systems to support the new arrangement.

As an example, one bank re-engineered its mortgage approval process by replacing the sequential operation with a multi function mortgage approval team. Loan originators in the field now enter the mortgage application directly into wireless laptop computers, where software checks it for completeness. The information then goes electronically to regional production centers. Here, specialists (like credit analysts and loan underwriters) convene electronically, working as a team to review the mortgage together—at once. After they formally close the loan, another team of specialists takes on the task of servicing the loan.

JOB REDESIGN As at  this bank, re-engineering usually requires redesigning individual jobs. Job enlargement means assigning workers additional same-level activities. Thus, the worker who previously only bolted the seat to the legs might attach the back as well. Job rotation means systematically moving workers from one job to another.

Psychologist Frederick Herzberg argued that the best way to motivate workers is through job enrichment. Job enrichment means redesigning jobs in a way that increases the opportunities for the worker to experience feelings of responsibility, achievement, growth, and recognition. It does this by empowering the worker—for instance, by giving the worker the skills and authority to inspect the work, instead of having supervisors do that. Herzberg said empowered employees would do their jobs well because they wanted to, and quality and productivity would rise. That philosophy, in one form or another, is the theoretical basis for the team-based self-managing jobs in many companies around the world today.

Step 3: Select representative positions Whether or not the manager decides to redesign jobs, the next step in job analysis is to decide on which positions to focus the job analysis. For example, it is usually unnecessary to analyze the jobs of 200 assembly workers when a sample of 10 jobs will do.

Step 4: Actually analyze the job—by collecting data on job activities, working conditions, and human traits and abilities needed to perform the job In brief, actually “analyzing” the job involves several steps. Specifically, greet employees; briefly explain the job analysis process and the employees’ roles in this process; spend about 15 minutes interviewing the employees to get agreement on a basic summary of the job; identify the job’s broad areas of responsibility, such as “calling on potential clients”; and identify duties/tasks within each area interactively with the employees. 

Step 5: Verify the job analysis information with the worker performing the job and with his or her immediate supervisor. This will help confirm that the information you’ve compiled (for instance regarding the job’s main duties) is correct and complete, and may help gain employees’ acceptance of your conclusions.

Step 6: Develop a job description and job specification The job description describes the job’s duties, activities and responsibilities, as well as its important features, such as working conditions. The job specification summarizes the personal qualities, traits, skills, and background workers require for getting the job done.

Source : Gary Dessler. Fundamental of Human Resource Management. Third Edition. Pearson. 2014

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