Academic journal article International Journal of Management

Job Evaluation by Committees: An Analytical Study

Academic journal article International Journal of Management

Job Evaluation by Committees: An Analytical Study

Article excerpt

The success or failure of a job evaluation programme is dependent upon employees' perceptions and their degree of acceptance or support of it. It is argued in this paper that having an ad hoc job evaluation committee is instrumental in getting all parties to accept such programmes. This paper examines the main features of such job evaluation committees, why such they necessary and what are the appropriate techniques and procedures required for an effective appeals process with respect to such committees. It is argued from an analysis of the workings of job evaluation committees that they need to adhere to professional codes of practice, be seen to make independent decisions, and be balanced in terms of their composition, function and decision-making in the organization. Recommendations for achieving these outcomes are developed in the paper.

Ajob evaluation programme is a vehicle that drives an organization's objective of pricing jobs for its employees. The programme is governed by the ethos of the organization's mission statement and strategic thinking. This in turn is under-pinned by its philosophy in relation to job evaluation. The programme is shaped by, among other things, the philosophy of senior management together with the degree of understanding and cooperation that exists between both the union and the employee within that organization. Above all, the programme will be determined by its procedures and its implementation strategy. Job evaluation programmes are determined internally (i.e. within the organisation). However, in large, national and multi-national organisations, whilst the programme itself may be devised centrally, the implementation of that programme may be applied locally. For example, the job evaluation programme for the National Health Service (Agenda for Change, 2004) was built by the Department of Health but application of the programme was delegated to the local health authorities and NHS Trusts.

Irrespective of who is in charge of the job evaluation programme or which party or department is involved, it is advisable that a job evaluation committee carries out the actual rating and classification of jobs. The majority of people concerned with job evaluation exercises believe that it should be a matter for a professional and carefully selected committee to undertake the work, not least for the following reasons: -

( 1 ) The committee can more readily bring to bear many views from the different parties concerned who are supposed to be familiar with the jobs intended for evaluation. Consequently:

(2) The decision-making process will be taken collectively rather than through individual judgments, and

(3) Conducting job evaluation through a committee approach leads to more objectivity, better understanding, more accuracy, and greater acceptance from the different participating parties with respect to the results obtained.

(4) The job evaluation programme is likely to be more trustworthy and reliable when conducted by a professional committee. A programme through a committee would enjoy a broader acceptance and support base by the parties concerned. This is particularly true of individual employees (or their union) who are more likely to view a programme developed by (or limited to) just two or even a very few individuals with suspicion and mistrust. By contrast, the use of an 'ad hoc committee' (a specially formed committee for, in this case, the job evaluation programme) adds credibility (Qmble, 2001:.262).

Furthermore, it is useful and advisable that both sexes are represented on the committee. Gender representation need not necessarily be proportionate because the priority or essence of committee formulation is to get the people who are properly experienced or qualified to carry out the role. Nonetheless, in all cases both sexes, especially formose whose jobs are to be evaluated, should have representation on the committee to some degree. On this point, Mary Ruggie (1984:127), expresses caution and considers the notion that there must be a man to whom a woman can compare herself as something that places limits on the use of job evaluation schemes. …

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