essential previous learningHiring New Employees

Job Design

Build better jobs

Key Learning Outcomes

  • Recognise that a job needs to be structured so it motivates and engages an employee.
  • Learn about the five key job characteristics.
  • Identify employees’ three core psychological states: meaningfulness, responsibility and knowledge of results.
  • Adopt our job design strategies to enhance employee motivation.


Job design is about how to build a better job. It is not just about ensuring that the tasks get done as efficiently as possible, but also ensuring that you are designing a job that will promote motivation and engagement in your employee. It has been shown that improvements in employee engagement levels have a direct impact on a business’s productivity and profitability.

When looking at job design, there are a number of core job characteristics that increase job satisfaction and motivation. American researchers and scholars Richard Hackman and Greg Oldham developed their job characteristic model in 1980. The model outlines five core job characteristics that can lead to three critical psychological states. In turn, these can produce the positive outcomes of work motivation, satisfaction and work effectiveness. The five core job characteristics are as follows:

  • Skill variety – The use of different skills and talents to complete a variety of work activities.
  • Task identity – The degree to which a job requires completion of a whole or identifiable piece of work.
  • Task significance – The degree to which the job affects the business and/or larger society.
  • Autonomy – The freedom to make decisions and use discretion in regard to work scheduling and procedures used to complete the work.
  • Feedback – The degree to which employees can tell how well they are doing based on direct feedback.
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