GNcareers, from Gulf News

Essentials of planning and job design

Essentials of planning and job designImage Credit: Supplied
Job design must be based on organizational planning, but who decides on such plans? Planning is a joint task of business strategy and HR. If you allow line managers to structure an organization, they will come up with a chart with more jobs, and create silo boxes which are unnecessary. HR must intervene and advise on the needed structure.
One big organization once employed an organizational director from South Africa. She then created senior director, director, senior manager, manager, and assistant manager posts for the legal department. If we look at the job descriptions of said posts closely, they are essentially the same jobs with one reporting to another – a vertical silo. Later, during the recession, the company realized it had to slash positions which were not essential in the first place.
Creating ‘boxes’ must be based on projects and the workload. Based on my experience, there really is no difference between a senior manager and a manager. I have seen senior managers’ workstations that are bigger than a manager’s desk, but I have not seen any work difference, except that a senior manager is a boss of a higher rank.
Roles need to be designed rather than be merely created job titles. For a company, you need one CEO. For a department having a single function, you need one manager. Organizational planners must focus on processes and activities, not on creating posts.
Job design is a fundamental process that comprises business goals, the organizational plan and long-term strategy. There are many forces such as changes in technology, available talent/skills and staff, and the supply market to consider in deciding the workload. Having a manpower plan will ensure a rational approach to organizational planning, and must be done by highly efficient HR professionals.
Handy Hints:
* Planning is a joint task of business strategy and HR executives
* Creation of job ‘boxes’ must be based on projects, workload
* Roles must be designed rather than be merely created job titles
Source: Dr. Pon Mohaideen Pitchai, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is a Dubai-based HR and Management Consultant