Work Design and HR Strategies

Discussion 1: Elements of Work Design

Job design is an important component of human resource management used by organizations to assess how tasks or the entire job within the work environment is organized (Truss, Mankin & Kelliher, 2012). It is related to the specification of contents, methods, and relationships of jobs aimed to satisfy technological and organizational requirements of the job. Also known as work design, job design is used by organizations to boost productivity by offering employees non-monetary rewards such as satisfaction from a personal achievement. To get a better understanding of job design, it is important to define two of the important elements related to job design which autonomy and interdependence.

Autonomy and its alignment in HR strategies.

Autonomy in work design according to human resource management, is a level of independence and discretion given to an employee over his/her line of work. It refers to a perspective of accountability, authority and a sense of responsibility (Truss, Mankin & Kelliher, 2012). Job autonomy is considered a major task characteristic and the elements that affect employees’ physiological state positively, therefore leading to better employee performance, motivation and satisfaction, which in turn leads to lower absenteeism and employee turnover. This can be implemented in workplaces as a Human Resource strategy to improve the employee performance. For example, some employees work better when no one is always looking over, telling him how to do his job. Instead, they prefer autonomy in his work while for others, it’s vice versa.

Interdependence and its alignment in HR strategies.

Interdependence is a situation whereby, two or more groups share a mutual reliance at the workplace. Interdependence is related to proficient responsibility for other’s work results. However, it is assumed to be positively related to the active, positive work and personal aftermaths of employees. Interdependence mainly involves putting employees, especially weak employees into working groups where they can work together and help each other out (Truss, Mankin & Kelliher, 2012). This is a Human Resource strategy aimed at improving employee performance. For example, a newly employed employee with little skills may be put in a group of other employees who have been working in an organization to help him or her, perfect his or her skills.

Discussion 2: Design Support HR Strategy

Is work designed to support HR strategy?

Human Resource strategy is designed to make sure an organization meets the goals, mission, and future needs. This can be achieved by developing a high-performance work system (van Eeden, 2014). A high-performance work system is a set of management practices attempting to create a work environment where an employee has an advanced involvement and responsibility. Therefore, considering this system, work design in an organization is part of the HR strategy as it involves putting all Human Resource practices together. It involves determining what kind of jobs an organization needs to be done, finding suitable employees needed to do the job, and finally evaluating the employees’ performance so as to compensate them accordingly to keep them. This is a long-term HR strategy used by organizations as a way to improve and maintain a high-performance task force (van Eeden, 2014). For example, if a certain organization has a high performing work group as one of the key goals, the Human Resource strategy should promote this, through the hiring and training process where the HR manager has a responsibility to group the employees appropriately and allocate them according to their abilities.



Truss, C., Mankin, D., & Kelliher, C. (2012). Strategic human resource management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

van Eeden, D. (2014). The Role of the Chief Human Resources Officer: Perspectives, Challenges, Realities and Experiences. Randburg, South Africa: Knowres Publishing.

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