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Solange De Santis - Job Design

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Solange De Santis joined a General Motors van assembly plant in 1991. During her eighteen months at GM she suffered from boredom, strain, psychological distress, job dissatisfaction, a feeling of distrust and a lack of job security. All of these factors had a detrimental effect on her health, safety and productivity.

What job re-design opportunities are available to foster a healthier and more productive workplace? In order to answer this question we adopt job and work design theory that will analyze her role and provide tangible solutions. The following three ÐŽ®Job Design ApproachesЎЇ will be explored: 1) Job rotation 2) Job enrichment 3) Teamworking.

The article outlined below elaborates on three small psychological changes to make working conditions for De Santis much better, improving her job safety and productivity. We hope thatÐŽ±Little changes make a big difference in the long term.ÐŽ±(Julian Barling, Topic 9, slide 3)

Job Rotation:

De Santis is an autoworker on the van assembly line at the General Motors plant. She performs the same simple task, and repeats the same procedures everyday. There are no opportunities for her to learn new skills or face any new challenges. It is easy to imagine how boring and frustrated anyone in her position would become. In addition to the challenge of her routine she also works on high stress and overload because of the non-stop, always catching up nature of the assembly line. According to research, boredom can cause daydreams and strain which together can threaten her safety. These negative experiences impact her job satisfaction and motivation.

What we should do is reduce boredom, strain and dissatisfaction. Through job rotation it is possible to re-design her job and make it much more interesting and fun which should reduce her current levels of boredom and stress. How is this possible? Job rotation can reduce De SantisЎЇs boredom, relieve her from repetitive movements, and increase motivation by diversifying her experience; job rotation provides the kind of flexibility and experience that will allow her to feel much more control of her work and develop important skills that can help to off-set feelings of uncertainty; job rotation also helps to improve morale, increases ownership and should enable her to reach her potential; it is also shown to lower fatigue and helps to produce greater satisfaction that reduces absenteeism/turnover problems. Therefore, job rotation can make her job healthier and more productive

How to implement job rotation? First of all, the management at General Motors should change a little bit of the organizational culture to give a high degree of flexibility to the employee. This flexibility will provide the framework required to implement job rotation successfully. Second, increase the scope her work in such a way that her tasks are grouped together based on the similarity of their content. For example, she can work a week on assembling dashboard components and then the following week on engine mountings. Then De Santis can acquire new skills by rotating jobs and change her working patterns when she needs to accommodate personal commitments. Job rotation helps to reduce the monotonous aspect of her work. By decreasing boredom and daydreaming it is possible to observe an increase in motivation and job satisfactory. De SantisЎЇs improved satisfaction will have a positive affect on her health and productivity.

It will take two months to implement Job rotation to achieve the desired outcomes.

Job Enrichment:

When De Santis works at GM van assembly plant, she is so surprised at the lack of trust, respect and dignity with GM management; management did not give positive feedback or recognition on their performance; there seems to be no transparency and no communication between management and shop floor workers. Employees have no responsibility for quality. Hence, employees are not satisfied with their job, and have no motivation to improve quality; of course, this has a negative impact on job productivity and job safety.

The job enrichment model is a way to solve some of the problems outlined above. Job enrichment refers to the vertical expansion of jobs and increasing the degree to which employees control the planning, execution and evolution of their work.

The benefits of job enrichment are numerous. To begin with, job enrichment aims to maximize the interest and challenge of the work because employees see as much of the product cycle as possible, employees have a high degree of autonomy in decision making and pace of the work to be carried out. The result of this is that the employees can know how well they are performing by the results of their work. It increases employeesЎЇ job satisfaction and motivation, which we know has a significant association with job productivity and job safety. Secondly, job enrichment increases employeesЎЇ job responsibilities and improves feedback from management so that employees can improve their performance to make work much more efficient and productive. In addition, job enrichment encourages employees to participant in decision-making, employees psychologically assume ownership of the decision and are more apt to their implementation. Finally, job enrichment gives employees much more control of their tasks and decision making authority, increasing their feeling of self-efficacy and promoting better mental health.

Since job enrichment is good solution to help De Santis to improve her job and give her a better healthier workplace. What should change to make job enrichment be implemented successfully? There are many ways to implement job enrichment; however, the most important change is to establish the employees own workstation.

First of all, management of GM agree to give De Santis authority to establish her own workstation, she can control her work schedule, and have the flexibility to respond to uncertainties. This redesigned workspace can make her work much more efficient and productive. De Santis will have a range of responsibilities and tasks that make up her work activities. To show her ownership she is responsible for quality and has to check her own work. It helps her to leverage her experience and skills; she has a chance to grow up. She becomes more satisfied with her job. Since she is satisfied with her job, she will have great motivation to do it safer and more productively.

Second, management should invite her to participant in meetings that relate to working procedure this will allow her to pass on her feedback and ideas to the management team. Management should, as soon as possible, give her feedback regarding her performance. Feedback will help her to evaluate



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