Motivation in the work place can be achieved through both external (compensation) and internal factors. This article focuses on internal factors by analyzing the job characteristics model (JCM) which is one of the aspects in job design. First, the link between JCM and motivation will be discussed. Then, HR job will be analyzed by according to JCM dimensions with suggestions on how to enrich the job.
Job design as motivator
The purpose of job design is to create motivation in the workplace. The approaches to job design, such as JCM, based on the indirect effect on employees’ level of motivation. JCM, introduced by Hackman and Oldham,1976 consists of five dimensions: skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback. The level of each dimension can lead to each critical psychological state. The psychological state will affect the level of personal work and outcome which includes the level of internal work motivation.
Human resource job and JCM
HR job is analyzed below using the five core dimension of JCM. Skill variety is the degree to which the job requires a variety of activities using a variety of skills. HR officers need to perform many activities: training, compensation, employee benefits and labor relation. Therefore, this is a high degree in skill variety. Interpersonal and good listener skill is the most significant for labor relation and solves employee grievances. He or she also needs to have critical thinking to analyze training needs.
Task identity is the degree to which the job requires completion of a whole and identifiable piece of work. HR job is high in task identity since it provides the opportunity to complete the wide range of activities as mentioned.
Task significance is the necessities of the impact on the life or work of other people. HR job has a high degree of this since it directly impacts working life of employees. HR officers need to motivate people to work and create their work-life balance in order to achieve the best of their performance.
Autonomy is the degree of freedom for the individual to schedule his or her work and determine working procedures. Many HR managers stay in headquarter. and hardly visit the plant. Therefore, HR officers at the plant have a high level of autonomy to plan any work and conduct HR activities to achieve the target of company’s HR policies.
Feedback is the degree to which carrying out the work activities required by the job results in the individual obtaining direct and clear information about the effectiveness of performance. Employees provide feedbacks to HR department only whenever they thought there are problems because many of them are reluctant to talk to HR. Some employee provides feedback with unacceptable behaviour which can demotivate HR officers to work.
Creating greater motivation by job enriching
Therefore, HR job appears to be high in every dimension of JCM except feedback. HR job itself can motivate HR officers quite well but not to a very high level since they might not often get any feedback from the people who they work for.
To improve the level of feedback, jobs need to be enriched by job redesign. The action to increase level of feedback is to establish client relationship (employees as clients for this case) and open the feedback channel. The relationship with employees is very important. HR officers should make employees feel comfortable to talk and they should be proactive to approach employee for seeking their feedbacks. Employees will then recognize that HR officers are friendly. Therefore, they will be willing to provide feedbacks all the time. Problems can be solved earlier. Moreover, various feedback channels are necessary. Employees who feel uncomfortable talking to HR can write their feedback and put in a suggestion box. Furthermore, employee satisfaction questionnaires should be always launched to get feedback after implementing every HR activity.
JCM is an approach to job design which aims to motivate employees. Its five dimensions affect critical psychological states and can lead to motivation. In HR job, each level of dimension except feedback is quite high because employees do not often give feedbacks until problems occurred. This could be improved by making employees comfortable to talk and HR officers always need to approach them to get feed backs.