Group design as a key to designing a job
Organizations require groups in their operations and in meeting their objectives. Groups involve two or more individuals that come together and interact with the aim of achieving particular organizational objectives (Levi, 2011). Groups are more effective in the organization because they involve the input of various people. Most organizations are embracing team spirit in order to succeed. Organizations are designing jobs based on groups because groups are the major cornerstones for achieving success. Group design is the most important key to designing a job because of a number of reasons.
In an organization, small groups are healthy for employees. They assist in meeting the social needs of employees that work in the organization (Campion & Thayer, 2001). According to the hierarchy of needs by Abraham Maslow, employees get their motivation from the satisfaction of social needs. These needs are third in the hierarchy showing the importance for satisfying them. Therefore, jobs designed around groups satisfy these needs for the employees. A person is able to get support from other members of the group in case of a crisis thus, enhancing achievement of job tasks (ACCEL-TEAM, 2011).
Groups provide a room for innovation and creativity because of the diverse employees involved. In a group, employees are able to identify problems and develop the right mechanisms for solving them. Groups comprise of employees with expertise in different areas and therefore, in case of a problem in the job, a particular person is able to intervene. Jobs designed around groups rarely fail because employees bring in new methods of responding to them. Each employee has different input from the other hence ensuring synergy in the job.
A group of employees are able to make better decisions than an individual person would. Group decision making involves differing views on the ways to work effectively on tasks. Many people involved in making decisions bring their input and encourage synergism where total group effort is greater than an individual’s (WBDG, 2010). Groups offer diverse relevant information and knowledge through their different experiences and knowledge (Robbins & Judge, 2011, p.303). Groups will often perform better than the best individual and thus the importance of designing a job around groups.
After making decisions in a group, the members of the group are able to implement them because they take part in their formation. Commitment from the members of the group to implement decisions ensures their success in achieving organizational goals. Group’s decisions gain acceptance from all the members that participate in their formation hence the ability to implement them effectively.
Groups have acceptable standards of behavior that govern all the members involved. These norms control discipline among the members of the group and hence enhance the achievement of jobs (Griffin & Moorhead, 2011). It is easier to discipline an employee that belongs to a given group than disciplining an individual person. An employee within a group must act and behave according to the norms of the group failure to which he or she receives punishment. It is because of these norms that jobs designed around groups are more effective.
Groups shorten the chain of command in a company; therefore employees do not have to follow long reporting lines to communicate their problems if they are in a group. In addition, it is easier to identify everyone in the organization if there are groups. Therefore, jobs designed around groups are achievable because of easy communication within a shorter chain of command.
Individual differences in designing jobs
It is important for organizations to consider individual differences in designing jobs. These differences are crucial because employees in the organization come from diverse backgrounds with differing norms. These differences are evident from the contributions people make in a group to the way the organization carries out its tasks. They also arise from the expectations of people regarding their jobs. Individuals carry a number of differences to the workplace. These differences stem from individuals’ moods, values, emotions, and unique personalities (WBDG, 2010). These differences affect the employees’ performance in the organization and therefore, it is vital to take full consideration for them.
Organizations hire employees with various expectations who also have certain abilities, skills, values and personality. However, these skills and abilities are diverse for different employees. The management should tailor make jobs to fit the differences presented by these individuals. This ensures success for the organization because an employee will perform best in their chosen job. An individual may be qualified for a given job but on the other hand, the same individual could be having a disability hindering him or her from performing. Therefore, it is important for organizations to design jobs taking into consideration these differences. This consideration ensures that the organization eliminates bias in its job designs.
Full consideration for individual differences in designing jobs is important because employees get motivation to work hard. Employees feel valued if their differences are taken into consideration. Employees are free to work in such an organization and achieve the goals of the firm. Therefore, if an organization expects to perform, it should consider employee differences.
Understanding individual differences in designing jobs is important because it helps in socialization. Socialization involves acknowledging differences among people. This acknowledgement is important because organization that use socialization processes are likely to achieve desired goals than those that do not. In addition, these organizations are able to satisfy people needs if they are aware of their differences.
Culture brings most individual differences in the organization (Campion & Thayer, 2001). Therefore, to address these differences it is important to consider the culture of different individuals in designing jobs. For example, if a job requires the use of a different language from the one that an employee understands, the organization should consider that. The management should inquire the ability of an employee to work with diverse cultures to minimize communication barriers caused by culture. Not all employees are able to use different languages so organizations should understand these individual differences. This understanding ensures that organizations tailor make jobs according to the differences.
Organizations should take full consideration of individual difference in designing jobs to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in achieving goals. These differences bring misunderstandings in the organization causing conflicts among employees. In the end, it becomes difficult to perform jobs effectively in the organization. Communication breakdown occurs because of failure to understand differences in individuals (Robbins & Judge, 2011). Therefore, a deadlock happens in jobs where employees cannot perform. Organizations should design jobs that ensure employees interact with one another to understand the diverse needs. The management should encourage teams in the organization where employees can interact and learn ways of handling different people in the workplace. With this kind of mechanism, effectiveness can be achieved.
In my opinion, organizations should design all jobs around groups. A job design based on groups ensures collective responsibility for all members involved. It is easier to deal with a group than with one individual at a time. In working with groups, organizations should apply the same principles as if dealing with an individual. An organization should hire groups, train them, pay them, and in case of mistakes fire the members of the group collectively (Levi, 2011). This ensures that groups behave because they have rules governing them. Members of the group performing a certain job will bring different methods of performing the job ensuring success. Besides, jobs designed around groups are more effective. Groups generate better information and knowledge than an individual leading to overall acceptance of a solution. In the end, a group will perform better than the best individual in that given organization will.
I believe that groups make better decisions than a single person would. They open up more opportunities for selecting the best alternative because of the input of various people involved. Therefore, the performance of the job is better because employees consider only the best choices. Groups make accurate decisions and avoid mistakes that an individual would make. However, in as much as it is important to design jobs around groups, it is also crucial to consider individual differences in designing the jobs. Individuals with different backgrounds make the group in which they work. Understanding these differences is important in reducing conflicts within the organization and achieving the job’s objectives. Besides, employees get motivation to work harder if the organization considers their differences. In my opinion, as organizations advance they will change completely and design jobs around teams.
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Griffin, R.W. & Moorhead, G. (2011). Organization Behavior, (10th Ed.). Masan, OH:
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Robbins, S.P. & Judge, T.A. (2011). Organizational behavior (14th Ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.
ACCE-TEAM (2011). Job Design: Designing jobs to meet the needs of both the employer and employee. Retrieved on 30th September, 2011. Available at:
WBDG (Whole Building Design Guide) (2010). Designing for Organizational Effectiveness. National Institute of Building Sciences. Available at: