Human Resource Management for Job Characteristics Model

Describe about the Human Resource Management for Job Characteristics Model.


‘Hackman and Oldham claim that if employees feel their jobs are interesting, challenging and important they will be motivated, and that high motivation will lead to improved work performance, job satisfaction and reduced absenteeism and labor turnover.’

This argument made by Hackman and Oldham, in simple words, means that if an organization is able to provide better and more interesting work to their employees, it can motivate them to perform better and the employees, in turn, show less absenteeism, improved performance and more motivation. In this assignment, we will discuss the validity of the statement made by the two.

Human Resource Management

Human resource management is an approach which assists business organizations in the management of their staff, workforce or employees. The objective behind the approach is to optimise the performance of the employees by improving the work conditions using concepts, such as performance management, training and development, career planning and management, recruitment and selection etc.

Hackman and Oldham were two human behavior experts who conducted multiple types of research in the sector of human resource management. They also proposed the JCT theory, which is also known as the Job Characteristics Theory. Hackman and Oldham claimed that the job itself had a key role to play in the performance level of the employees and how motivated they feel while doing the jobs assigned to them. They said that interesting or challenging work can have a positive impact on the employee performance and can help in bringing down absenteeism and labor turnover rates. In the past few years, the technology has evolved at such a fast pace that it has made this world a very small place. Further, the spread of globalization brought the whole world even closer. In the present day scenario, the business organizations are competing with multinational companies on a global scale, and it has become very difficult for them to achieve market competencies on the basis of operations or processes as they can be easily replicated. As a result, business organizations have realized that human resources are their best option for survival and by optimising their performances they can achieve their organizational goals and a competitive edge in the market. Therefore, the human resource managers of all business organizations have been trying their best to provide excellent working conditions to the employees, so that they feel motivated and can work harder to fulfil the expectations of the employers. Another important thing, which organisations have recently realized, is that the job or the tasks which are given to the employees can also play an important role in the performance that they show at the workplace. From then on, human resource managers have been trying their level best to improve the work conditions for the employees by providing them work that is exciting and challenging. This concept has received a lot of fame and is known as job enrichment, which means to provide exciting and challenging work to the employees to improve their performance.

Let us now discuss some important benefits of providing challenging and exciting tasks to the employees and check whether such strategies can actually have an impact on employee performance, motivation, absenteeism and turnover rates.

Effect Of Job Characteristics On Employee Performance

The benefits of providing challenging and interesting work to the employees are discussed below:

Learning new skills à since the beginning of the subject of human resource management, it has been identified by experts that the humans are always eager to learn something new. The feeling of learning something new or acquiring new skills motivates the employees and they give it their best shot. If business organizations are able to provide the human resources of their company with tasks that are challenging and exciting, the human resource will definitely learn something new out of it. As a result, the employees would start to perceive challenging tasks and jobs in a good way and would perform better so that they can acquire new skills and techniques (, 2016).

Boredom à boredom is defined as the state of being bored. Boredom, in employees, usually occurs when they feel that their jobs are not interesting, are not challenging enough to test their skills or competencies or when they have to perform the same tasks over and over again. It has been identified that boredom kills all the scope for performance in an organization. When the employees are given the same tasks to perform over and over again, they feel that their work is monotonous and they start feeling bored. To take a break, the employees take unnecessary leaves, which results in increased absenteeism and fall in productivity. If the human resource managers of the organization can implement the process of job enrichment in the organization, they would be able to provide the employees with interesting and exciting work on regular basis, which would prevent the employees from becoming bored of their jobs (, 2016). Regular changes in their jobs will bring them out of their comfort zones and they will also become used to frequent changes.

Receive recognition à another major benefit of providing challenging and interesting work to the workforce on a regular basis is that it helps them in gaining recognition in the organization. Recognition has been considered as one of the most important needs of the humans when they work in an organization. Recognition has also been included in the need hierarchy theory proposed by Maslow. The employees love to be a part of an organization where people know them and consider them an important part of the family. When the employees are given challenging and exciting work or tasks, they perceive it as an opportunity that could help them in gaining recognition in the organization. As a result, it increases their motivation levels and they end up performing better than they can (, 2016).

Employee motivation à when the employees get a feeling that they matter to the organization and the senior level employees can trust them with challenging and tougher jobs, they feel motivated. Their feeling towards the organization gets more positive and they become more committed towards the organization and the job. Thus, assigning the employees with the responsibility of fulfilling challenging and important tasks can help in motivating them to a great extent and when the employees are motivated, they work harder to contribute more towards the fulfilment of organizational goals and objectives ( The Next Generation Library, 2015).

Sense of accomplishments à it takes a lot of efforts for the human resource management of a company to improve the work conditions for the employees and provide them with exciting work on regular basis. On the other hand, it is also somewhat difficult for the employees to get out of their comfort zones and deliver what the company expects from them. When both the parties fulfil their roles successfully, they get a feeling of accomplishment, which binds them together in a very positive manner. Thus, the relation between the employees and the employer improves too.

Benefits for the employers à the concept of job enrichment has benefits for the employees as well as for the employers. The employers can test the skills and talent of the employees by providing them difficult and exciting tasks and can identify the star and the weak performers in the organization. If the employers feel that the employees lack some skills or competencies, they can design training and development programs where the employees would be able to acquire the lacking skills. On the other hand, if the employers find that some employees are capable of handling higher positions in the organization, the management can consider them for promotions whenever there is a position vacant in the organization. Therefore, providing exciting and challenging tasks to the employees can also help the employers in internal staffing planning and design of training and development programs (Reddy, 2016).

Fosters a professional approach à providing challenging and exciting tasks to the employees on a regular basis helps in fostering a more professional approach in the organization as the employers expect higher performance and productivity from the employees. Such a work environment fosters a more professional approach in the organization.

Reduced absenteeism à one of the major benefits of improving the job characteristics is that it helps in bringing down the absenteeism rates in an organization. Absenteeism is defined as the condition when the employees take too many unnecessary leaves from their work, which results in loss of productivity. Absenteeism can cause great damage to an organization and as a result, it should be kept as minimum as possible. Absenteeism is found to occur in those organizations where the work provided to the employees is boring and monotonous. If the management can improve the characteristics of the jobs for the employees, it is highly possible that the employees will show less absenteeism as they would be more interested in performing well in their jobs and fulfilling the expectations of the company. Further, if the organization continues to experience high absenteeism, the labor turnover rates will also shoot up. Labor turnover rate is the rate at which the employee of an organization quit it. Higher labor turnover rates are always an issue for the business organization as they cause a lot of wastage of resources that have been invested in the employees that quit the organization. Therefore, if an organization is able to improve the work conditions for the employees and bring down the absenteeism rate, the organization will definitely be able to bring down the rate of labor turnover.


From the points discussed above, it is clear that the concept of providing exciting and challenging work to the employees has benefits for the employers as well as for the employees. It can help in keeping the employees motivated, optimising their performance, reducing boredom, absenteeism, and labor turnover rates, etc. After seeing all these benefits it is clear that the characteristics of a job or a task can actually have an impact on the performance of the employees. Therefore, the claim made by Hackman and Oldham, which says that if employees feel their jobs are interesting, challenging and important, they will be motivated, and that high motivation will lead to improved wok performance, job satisfaction and reduced absenteeism and labor turnover, is actually quite valid for the human resources of the present day world.


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Hackman, J., Pearce, J., & Wolfe, J. (1978). Effects of changes in job characteristics on work attitudes and behaviors: A naturally occurring quasi-experiment. Organizational Behavior And Human Performance, 21(3), 289-304.

Hosie, P., Sevastos, P., & Cooper, C. (2006). Happy-performing managers. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Human Resource Management. (2016). Retrieved 10 August 2016, from

Job Enrichment: Meaning, Characteristics, Advantages and Limitations. (2015). The Next Generation Library. Retrieved 10 August 2016, from

McKenna, E. (1994). Business psychology and organizational behavior. Hove, UK: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Savall, H. (1981). Work and people (Enrichir le travail humain dans les entreprises et les organizations, engl.). An economic evaluation of job-enrichment. Oxford: Clarendon Pr.

Oldham, G., Hackman, J., & Pearce, J. (1976). Conditions under which employees respond positively to enriched work. Journal Of Applied Psychology, 61(4), 395-403.

Reddy, K. (2016). Top 15 Advantages and Disadvantages of Job Enrichment – WiseStep. WiseStep. Retrieved 10 August 2016, from

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