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Strategy to Job Design – see the BIG picture

Sanat Sankrityayan 2011-08-26

Helping Them Connect “The Big Picture”

The foundation for creating a meaningful work environment is to help employees see how they fit into “the big picture.” People will naturally become more passionate about their work when they clearly understand they are part of something bigger than themselves. As a leader, you must be able to answer the four questions team members commonly ask (and they are asking these questions – whether you hear them or not): 

1. Where are we going? (Strategy)
2. How are we going to get there? (Plans)
3. How can I contribute? (Roles)
4. What’s in it for me? (Rewards)


Even if the role of the job is small, the connection and the interdependence makes it significant. While writing this blog, the Job Design Theory popped up in my mind. It is a theory of Motivation. There are two types of Motivations at work, intrinsic and extrinsic. As the names suggest, intrinsic is the kind that depends on the internal drive, inner call or voice and self-inspiration whereas extrinsic motivation depends on the external modes for generating the pitch towards getting a job done. Usually the people are considered to be driven by extrinsic motivation and seldom fall under the first category. They are X type employees, who crib for Hygiene Factors and work only when there is some reward, incentive or gain attached to it. The quantum of the work is more when the equity of the external gains is more. Most of the Management Thinkers end up blaming the people and consider it as individual’s prerogative.


The Work Content, the way the specific Job or the Position has been designed has a lot to influence, far more than just the numbers we expect at the end of the day. it can impact the outcome, as well as the excellence drive of the person doing it. The theory says every Job must be well defined and executed in terms of the five characteristics given here.

  1. Skill Variety
  2. Task Identity
  3. Task Significance
  4. Autonomy
  5. Feedback
  • Workers are motivated by jobs in which they feel they can make a difference
  • Job design refers to the way tasks are combined to form complete jobs
  • Job design principles results in clear job descriptions, a motivated workforce and successful completion of tasks on time
  • Ensures that both employer and employee have a shared understanding of the work to be done and results to be achieved
Strategy needs to be clear to design better jobs and have a motivated, happy workforce committed to achieving 100% customer satisfaction by adding value. The plans can then be derived from the Strategy, that thus trickles down to the individual employee in the form of a task. The role must be defined in a such a way that the person playing that role becomes the Key Strategic Player for you. The approach of assigning the Key Persons to the Key Positions should be in the essential sequence of creating Key Positions/Roles first. These roles are easier to deduce only if the Strategy is visibly clear. Why else do you think there are numerous instances where even the most brilliant of the minds failed to live up to the expectation they carried with them. Once the Key Position are taken up by the Key Persons, the strategy execution, and the desired results shall definitely come.
Gita says, “If your karma is correct, the results are bound to come. So do not worry about the results much, focus on the right process/conduct/method.”    GO on performing!!

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