Improving Productivity Through People
Modern businesses face three major challenges: improving quality, improving productivity, and competing in a global marketplace. In its struggle for success and continuation, every business directs all its human, capital, and material resources to meet these challenges. But gaining the competitive advantage increasingly depends on improving productivity at all levels--on investing in our human resources.
In their book, Productivity: The Human Side, Robert Blake and Jane Mouton identify seven means for improving human productivity: pay, selection of the best worker for the job, scientific management approach, worker training, supervisor attitudes, motivation, and participation in decision making. Only if combined and applied synergistically, however, can these human resource methods improve employee performance and productivity.
The career, earnings, description, evaluation, and training (CEDET) model is a synergistic method that, when combined with others, stimulates continual improvement of each "human asset."
At the heart of the model is a people-centered commitment to organizational success by improving productivity through employee growth and development. The CEDET model is not a quick fix. Time, an environment conducive to change, commitment from upper management, and human and capital resources are mandatory. The process yields tangible results in return for this investment: ] a means for identifying career paths in the organization; ] a salary or wage structure based on specific job tasks, skill levels, and working conditions; ] an objective, performance-based evaluation and appraisal program; ] identification of training requirements for each job and implementation of training programs to improve employee skill levels; ] a detailed job description for each position.
More important are the expected outcomes of improved productivity, greater commitment, and a more cohesive, cooperative organization.
How does it work?
The CEDET model draws together principles of four distinct disciplines--education and training, industrial engineering, human resource management, and counseling and guidance--into one systematic approach for achieving organizational success through people. Regardless of which functions are responsible for these disciplines in the organization, they are interrelated.
The trainer uses occupational analysis, task analysis, and training needs assessment to organize the job, explain what is expected on the job, identify training needs, and develop training programs. The human resource manager uses job duties identified in occupational analysis to develop job descriptions and establish a performance evaluation program that measures individual productivity. The industrial engineer draws on the results of task analysis to establish a wage structure using the quantitative techniques of job evaluation. The guidance counselor evaluates the outcomes of the occupational analysis relative to specific jobs as the basis for career pathing. The professionals responsible for these activities will need to work together closely.
Using the model
You can construct and apply the CEDET model through the following nine steps: 1. Identify the occupational cluster.
An occupational cluster is a group of jobs related by the kinds of materials and equipment workers use or the technical concepts involved. Based on the role that each group of jobs within a cluster plays in the organization's purpose, segregate the target population into groups that meet the criteria of the occupational cluster definition. 2. Identify specific jobs.
Segregate specific jobs into the appropriate occupational cluster by job title. A specific job is a collection of duties performed in a specific job position. 3. Identify job duties.
Identify the job duties required within an occupational cluster and assign a skill-level code. A job duty is one of the principle responsibilities in a job. It occupies a reasonable portion of time, occurs regularly in a work cycle, and describes tasks that are closely related. The best sources of information for job duties are current job descriptions, the employees, the supervisor, and the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. This information forms the foundatio for the remainder of the model. Review job duties and consolidate jobs that overlap.
Then assign a skill-level code to each job duty for each relevant position. The skill-level code differentiates between degrees of skill required to perform a job and can be used to identify the amount of supervision and instruction required for a particular job duty. Choose among four codes: ] Code 1--exposure only--requires no skill; ] Code 2--limited skill--requires close supervision and direct instruction for successful completion; ] Code 3--moderate skill--requires some supervision and minimal instruction; ] Code 4--skilled--requires no supervision or instruction. 4. Diagram career paths.
Using the outcomes of Step 3, diagram career paths based on the job-skill level required for each duty of each position. The finished product should be a simple network or flowchart depicting the career possibilities, in terms of increasing responsibility, the employee can attain if he or she works for it and deficiencies that the employee must overcome in order to reach a future position. 5. Identify job tasks.
Identify and enumerate in sequence the specific tasks for each job duty. A job duty comprises one or more job tasks. A job task is a measurable element of work usually performed by a single worker in a short time span. A job task has a definite beginning and ending point; can be any size or degree of complexity, as long as it directly relates to a specific part of the total job duty; results in a finished product, service, or change in the work environment; begins with an action verb in the present tense; provides the employee with a feeling that something has been accomplished.
To complete this step properly, use the following process: ] Verify the task. ] Write down the tentative steps for the task. ] Identify key considerations such as cautions, safety, notes, materials, and tools required. ] Perform or observe the task, compare it to the tentative steps, and verify the correctness of the task. ] Ask someone else to review the task. ] Revise task details as needed. 6. Develop job descriptions.
Develop the job description for each specific job. The job description is a written statement designating the skill level required, job duties to be performed, responsibilities, qualifications, and special assignments required of an individual in that particular job. The job description usually consists of four sections: job identification or title, job summary, job duties, and job specification. 7. Establish performance evaluations.
Establish performance-appraisal and -evaluation criteria that integrate the job-skill level and the job description. The term performance evaluation as applied here implies the combining of performance appraisal and evaluation into a single program. The goal of performance evaluation is to measure individual productivity in objective terms rather than on a strictly subjective basis.
An objective evaluation program assures that predetermined goals for performance are achieved, measures individual job performance, identifies individual development needs, and provides a fair reward for job performance. One technique for developing an objective performance evaluation is to identify the responsibilities of the job, establish the goals, and identify indicators that will signify goal achievement. 8. Identify training needs and implement training.
Identify the micro and macro training needs for each job task and develop the training and education program that will satisfy these requirements. A training need exists when an employee lacks the knowledge or skills to perform an assigned task or duty satisfactorily. The training needs assessment should address the requirements of the position and the needs of the individual. The thrust of employee development efforts in an industrial organization should be competency based. A competency is a critical knowledge, skill, or attitude that a person needs to perform a specific task within a job. Here is one way to perform the training needs assessment: ] Identify the specific job (Step 2). ] Identify the job duties (Step 3). ] Identify the job tasks (Step 5). ] Identify the competencies and standards required for successful performance of each task or duty. ] Verify the tasks with the competencies. ] Decide whether to fit the person to the job through training or placement or to fit the job to the person by changing how the job is organized.
By emphasizing competency as a basis for training, the resulting education program becomes a means for closing the gap between an employee's actual skill level and the ideal competency level required in the job. With the
identification of the training needs it is possible to institute the learning program. Leonard Nadler's Critical Events Model describes an eight-step process for developing the learning program: ] Identify the needs of the organization. ] Specify the desired job behavior. ] Identify training needs. ] Determine and specify training objectives. ] Develop the course curriculum. ] Select the materials and methods to be used. ] Purchase or develop the instructional materials. ] Conduct the training. 9. Establish a wage structure.
Establish a wage structure founded on a quantitative evaluation of the job duties identified in the job description and their applicable skill levels. Establish a sound and consistent wage structure or wage administration plan using a job evaluation. The United States Employment Service defines job evaluation as:
"The complete operation of determining the value of an individual job in an organization in relation to other jobs in the organization. It begins with job analysis to obtain job descriptions and includes relating the description by some system designed to determine the relative value of the job or group of jobs. It also involves the pricing of these jobs based on the relative value. The operation ends with the final checking of the resulting salary or wage system."
A job evaluation starts with job analysis, provides relative rather than absolute values of jobs, and groups jobs into classes with minimum and maximum wages or salaries.
There are two quantitative systems for job evaluation: the point system and the factor-comparison system. The point system is a participative process in which rating scales measure factors that may be common to specific jobs. Each factor is assigned points based on its relative worth compared to the other factors. On the basis of this point value, each degree in the rating scale for each factor is assigned a point value. Each job is then considered separately for each factor and evaluated against the applicable factor scale. The point system is a nine-step process: ] Determine the type of job to be evaluated. ] Select the job factors. ] Define the job factors. ] Define the degrees for each factor. ] Determine the relative value of the job factors. ] Assign point values to the degrees. ] Construct the job evaluation manual. ] Prepare job descriptions and job specifications. ] Rate the jobs and obtain the final point values.
The factor-comparison method uses a ranking system based on values that are relative to key jobs. The process continues as supplementary jobs are added. It is an eight-step process: ] Select the job factors. ] Prepare the job descriptions and job specifications. ] Select the key jobs for evaluation. ] Rank the key jobs by job factors. ] Apportion the wage or salary rates among the job factors. ] Set up the job-comparison scale. ] Add supplementary key jobs to the job-comparison scale. ] Evaluate the remaining jobs in the organization.
What you'll get
Successful implementation necessitates the commitment, dedication, and cooperation in order to achieve the goal of enhancing the talents and skills of your organization's human resources. It's important to recognize the dynamic nature of the CEDET model. Continual evaluation, feedback, and involvement are required at each step in the process. And although this may result in some backtracking, the expected outcomes of stronger employee commitment and improved productivity are worth the effort of implementation.…