Workplace analysis: what it is, what it is for and stages of the process

Now that a company is operating in the most appropriate way, it is necessary to know what it is doing and how far its workers should be able to go, if there is a lack of training or if competing companies demand more demands of their workers.

A good job analysis allows the human resources department to recruit and select the best candidates for the company, in addition to knowing the skills, tasks, aptitudes and needs of each position.

Then understand what a workplace analysis is, How important is it, what types are there and how to make one.

    What is workplace analysis?

    A workplace analysis consists of a search for the job that is going to be offered or a certain place of the company that wants to know in depth and improve. This type of analysis aims to know the skills necessary so that those who do it can have a better performance by establishing all the necessary criteria to select the most suitable candidate.

    Usually this type of analysis this is the mission of the human resources department, Which has, among other functions, the mission of recruiting and selecting the most suitable workers to set up the company, as well as ensuring that, if necessary, they update their training. Businesses don’t function well without the right people for each position they hold, so this department needs to know what requirements are needed for each position.

    Once the specific job has been analyzed, the most common thing is to give a precise description of what it consists of. This makes it easier to establish the requirements deemed necessary to exercise it, in addition to defining the job offer and the profile of the desired candidate. Additionally, by delineating and specifying each of the jobs, the company can draw a complete organizational chart, discovering what each position contributes to the organization as a whole.

    Advantages of this type of analysis

    The collection of all the data obtained during the analysis of the workplace aids in decision-making, in addition to allowing the validation of more useful and effective methods and techniques for the exercise of individual workplaces and of the workplace. company as a whole. So with this kind of analysis better decisions can be made when selecting staff, In addition to being able to assess the performance of workers and determine who should be promoted, maintained, degraded or fired.

    Among the most obvious benefits of workplace analysis, there is.

    1. Organizational structure

    Thanks to this type of analysis, it is possible to know how the tasks of the organization are divided into their most basic units: Divisions, sections, departments, work units such as workers or work groups …

    2. Structure of employment

    As the name suggests, this type of analysis allows us to know what the workplace itself looks like, especially its structure. Let us know how they should group jobs in places and ranks of places, In addition to knowing which sites are alike in their usefulness and function to the business.

    3. Degree of authority

    By analyzing the workplace, we can know the organizational chart of the company and, in turn, which places are above others. It allows to know the degree of authority of each place and its implication in the decision-making.

    4. Performance criteria

    Performance criteria are the benchmark for knowing hierarchical dependency relationships within the organization, number and types of sites. In other words, it lets you know how much the work of a particular position depends on how another does it, whether higher or lower in terms of authority.

    5. Dismissal of employees

    By scanning the workplace, we can detect sites that perform virtually the same function or that are too similar to allow them to continue to exist. this tool allows you to decide whether to combine two jobs into one or change their functions to avoid duplication.

      Types of workplace analysis

      There are several types of workplace scans that can be performed. They are not mutually exclusive, on the contrary, they are all necessary to specify exactly what are the functions, requirements and skills of each place of the company, although depending on time and means you may decide not to do only one type of analysis. . The main ones are the following four:

      1. Task-based analysis

      Task-based workplace analysis it is the oldest and the most classic. Essentially, it is about finding out what tasks workers do, regardless of the skills, training and abilities they have or should have. This model aims to define and establish the tasks, duties and responsibilities associated with each position in the company.

      2. Competency-based analysis

      The skills analysis focuses on these the skills needed to do the job.

      3. Force-based analysis

      Force-based analysis focuses on the actions that workers appreciate the most, or those in which they are particularly successful. It is a question of seeking these motivations which pushed the workers to choose the place or the desire which awakens them to occupy this position.

      4. Personality-based analysis

      While it is certainly a bit more complicated, a workplace scan can be done to find the personality traits best suited for the job. The most dysfunctional traits can also be analyzedIn other words, those who are a source of problems for the work in question.

      Where to extract information

      Workplace analysis is a tool that attempts to follow the scientific method. It relies on the most objective and reliable sources of information and techniques possible to make analysis a faithful representation of organizational reality.

      Data is extracted from the job itself, such as the tasks an employee performs, the way he performs them, and the behaviors associated with his occupation. But beyond these observations, there are several techniques to be able to extract all the necessary information.

      • Interviews and focus groups.
      • questionnaires
      • Observation or self-observation.
      • Analysis through documentation, performance evaluation and past job vacancies.
      • The methodology of critical incidents

      Development of workplace analysis

      Below we will see how to develop a workplace analysis and the steps to follow. It is essential that when performing such an analysis, it is known which aspects need to be documented, which people in the organization can provide and how the information will be managed.

      1. Define the tasks

      The first part of the process consists of analyze the tasks performed by workers. This is the oldest and, at the same time, the most fundamental type of workplace analysis. It is necessary to know what types of tasks and how they are performed within the organization in order to be able to perform a thorough analysis of the workplace. Therefore, in order to gather information at this stage, the following questions should be asked:

      • What does the employee do?
      • How do you do?
      • Why are you doing this?
      • Why are you doing this?

      Try to answer these questions for each job we can write a complete list of tasks developed in the organization. For example, if we want to analyze the work of a server, we can ask ourselves these questions about the following two tasks: bringing food and drinks and cleaning the table.

      In the case of bringing food and drinks, the waiter uses a tray to be able to bring these things to the customer who ordered these foods. The reason is that we want the customer to be happy to consume what they have requested.

      In the case of cleaning the table, the waiter does it with a cloth, disinfectant and other cleaning products so that the table is in a condition for use by other customers. The reason is to avoid non-compliance with hygiene standards imposed by the Ministry of Health, as well as to avoid complaints from the dissatisfied customer.

      2. Responsibilities and functions of the workplace

      Once you know what tasks are developed within an organization they are grouped into different functions. There may be tasks that only perform one function, others that are very different from each other but serve the same thing, and a task that, in turn, performs different functions within organisation.

      Taking the example of the waiter, one could consider that bringing food to customers would fall under the function of “customer service”, while the cleaning function would have as main function “the hygiene of the establishment” although, also, could be related to customer service.

      Once the functions of the tasks performed in the organization have been established they are organized according to the degree of responsibility within it. They can be ranked on a scale in case we could talk about responsibilities that are much more important than others, but in many cases most tasks involve a similar degree of responsibility, so they can be prioritized as well.

      3. Knowledge and experience

      A key aspect of job analysis is the assessment of the experience and knowledge necessary to perform the job. so assess the skills, abilities and training that are recommended or required to perform the duties of the job.

      In many cases, this necessary knowledge is easy to establish. For example, in order to be able to work in a clinic as a doctor, the training that will be required will be a medical degree and, preferably, a postgraduate or master’s degree. In other cases, however, the qualification required for the job is not so clear. For example, to work in a supermarket, they can apply for the title of food handling or vocational training, although this is not always the case.

      When analyzing the workplace to be able to know what training is desired the ideal is to speak directly to employees and managers. They will give their opinion or experience, their degree, what they asked for and what they saw in previous companies where they worked. It is very useful to know what competing companies are asking of their workers because in this way we will prevent the company from losing strength in its field due to the lack of training of its workers.

      4. Job analysis skills

      At this point, it is important to perform a job analysis based on the skills of your employees. Here you can use three very useful techniques, Which can be completed.

      4. 1. Interview with managers

      Managers are a key figure within the organization because they are who know the work firsthand and know what skills are needed to perform tasks correctly.

      4.2. Evaluation of performances

      We deduce from this what skills differentiate a good employee from one who does not do his job well.

      4.3. critical incidents

      With this technique these key workplace behaviors are established, those that determine success or failure organisation. It is discovered which behaviors can benefit or hinder the performance of the company and aims to reproduce or eradicate them.

      5. Have clear goals

      Whatever technique is used, the ideal is to use all three, the fundamental thing is that with its use it is possible to answer the following questions:

      • What is the difference between a good and a bad employee?
      • Why are some employees able to perform tasks better than others?
      • If you had to hire an employee to perform a task, what would you be looking for?
      • Do you need a little more to properly establish the skills?

      In any case, it should be noted that each company has its own idea of ​​what are the ideal skills for its workers depending on the position they occupy, in other words, this is a very subjective step. .

      This variability in the skills required is strongly influenced by the organizational culture of the company, which varies greatly from one to another. In addition, each company has a different customer, so the criteria extracted from the analysis of places in one company may be unnecessary for another.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Martín-Valverde, A., Rodríguez-Sañudo Gutiérrez, F. García Múrcia, J. (1996). Labor law. Madrid: Tecnos.
      • M. Peiró, J. (1996). Organizational psychology. Madrid: UNED.
      • Leal Millán, A., Román Onsalo, M., Alfaro de Prat Sagrera, A., Rodríguez Fèlix, L. (2002). The human factor in labor relations, Direction and management manual: Pyramid.

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