A job consists of various critical elements that are essential to achieve enterprise outcomes—i.e., talent and behavioral requirements, role, and responsibilities. Jobs that are configured inadequately bread disputes, negative perceptions, inequality, and frustration. On the other hand, structured jobs, appropriate distribution of work, justified authority levels, and correct estimation of value of individual jobs are the signs of effective Human Capital Management function.
The lack of a structured job design—or ill-defined jobs—renders the organizations ineffective and burdened with excessive staffing and payroll costs. This warrants from the leadership to plan and undertake a Job Leveling initiative. Job Leveling is a disciplined approach to gauge the value of work for individual positions across the organization. It entails ascertaining the nature of work done by each position, authority levels, and the effect of each job on business results. The initiative is critical in administering rewards structures.
However, Job Leveling is a concern at most organizations—not many people are satisfied with the value assigned to their roles. The absence of proper—or inadequate—job levels yields grave consequences for the entire organization. Jobs valued higher than their actual value lead to wastage of resources, whereas low valued jobs are perceived as offensive and inculcate demotivation.
Job Design and Job Leveling is essential when organizations consistently encounter these issues:
- Constant employees complaints and demands to reclassify jobs
- Excessive job titles
- Widespread dissatisfaction with remuneration
- Task / processes redundancy
- Financial outflow
- Staffing imbalances and top heavy structure
Workforce planners should use a Job Leveling Framework to methodically benchmark the value of jobs at their organizations. To accomplish this, they need to first analyze all the activities required under each position, the professional competences and demeanor essential to perform those activities, and gauging the effect each position has on business results.
Implementing a Job Leveling Framework simplifies the allocation of jobs in a harmonized job hierarchy, establishes consistency across the HR Initiatives, develops clear paths for growth, and improves decision making.
Human Resources practitioners need to follow these 5 key phases to implement a Job Leveling Framework and structure job levels at their organizations:
- Ensure Readiness of Pre-Implementation Groundwork
- Engage Business Leaders in Implementation
- Set up Clear Governance Structures
- Employ User-friendly Job Evaluation Management Tools
- Establish Clear Communication Mechanisms
Let’s dive deeper into the first 3 phases of the Job Leveling Framework Implementation, for now.
Ensure Readiness of Pre-Implementation Groundwork
Human Resource practitioners should first analyze their existing job architecture, job natures, roles and responsibilities, and Organizational Culture to initiate the Job Leveling process. Specifically, they have to answer these queries to identify the right Job Levelling method:
- What is the key objective to be achieved by implementing the Job Leveling initiative? Is it to improve compensation, shape career paths, or alleviate pay equity concerns?
- Who will be the users of the Job Leveling system? Will it be managed by Human Resources experts or business leaders?
- The Job Leveling exercise will impact which employees? How many roles, their nature of jobs, locations?
- Define the organizational culture and values. Is it hierarchical, centralized, or cost-focused?
Engage Business Leaders in Implementation
Effective Job Levelling Implementation necessitates involvement of business leaders from the onset of the exercise. Engaging business managers and employees can hold back the pace of implementation because of conflicting views and ideas, but this is essential for the success of Job Leveling. The right engagement involves:
- Getting agreement and support from senior business leaders.
- Including business leaders in calibration of key roles for support later during execution phase.
- Coaching key line managers and including them in job evaluation sessions to ensure adequate understanding of the roles and to develop program sponsors during implementation.
- Including key employees during the design phase of Job Leveling to remove any suspicion and win their agreement.
Set up Clear Governance Structures
Establishing effective control mechanisms is essential to avoid any glitches in implementing coherent job levels. Job Leveling initiatives in large multinational corporations fail because of dearth of appropriate governance mechanisms in place. A few organizations adopt centralized controls whereas others employ decentralized, locally-driven governance protocols. To execute clear yet robust governance mechanisms, organizations should follow these key tenets:
- Governance principles should correspond to the organizational culture.
- Stakeholders should be held accountable with clear roles.
- Authorities should be assigned to ensure proper control mechanisms.
- All concerned people should be engaged in the initiative.
- Decision making authorities should be clearly defined.
- Resources should be effectively deployed.
- Promote fairness by applying rules equally, or if not, rationale is clearly explained.
Interested in learning more about the other phases of Job Leveling Implementation and Job Leveling methods? You can download an editable PowerPoint on HR Strategy: Job Leveling Framework Implementation here on the Flevy documents marketplace.