Job characteristics model was
developed by psychologists J. Richard Hackman and Greg Oldham in 1980. The
focus of the study was centered in “five core dimensions that leads to critical
psychological states in the individual employee” (Job Characteristics Model, 2017). Hackman and Greg
believed that “some workers thrive in enriched jobs, while others respond with
confusion, resentment, and inability to cope with demands” (Kalinich, Klofas, & Stojkovic, 2015). An essential part to
understanding employee motivation is by corelating the individual to their
employment using the five characteristics of a job. Furthermore, the job
characteristics model exposes the degree to which an employee becomes motivated
with their employment through skill variety, tasks identity, task significance,
autonomy, and feedback.

            Skills
variety, as described by Kalinich, Klofas, and Stojkovic (2015) is the “degree
to which jobs require a variety of different activities, skills and talents”.
This job characterization explains that employees whose jobs require a higher
level of education have a higher motivational rate, as supposed to jobs that
require little to no education. Jobs that require education and classroom
training demand more attention to detail and awareness, therefore, have a
higher motivational rate. In addition to skills variety, task identity which
refers to employee satisfaction through completion of tasks rather than bits
and pieces of a project (Kalinich, Klofas, & Stojkovic, 2015), is an important
dimension for motivation. Employees whose jobs require them to start new
projects and see them through completion have a greater feel of satisfaction,
and consequently promote employee motivation. Similarly, task significance is another
characterization that emphasizes work importance, and when the work impacts
others, it instills satisfaction by making a difference in people’s lives (Kalinich, Klofas, & Stojkovic, 2015). Moreover, autonomy
is the “degree of freedom, independence, and discretion provided by a job” (Kalinich, Klofas, & Stojkovic, 2015), and when coupled
with the other job characterizations it motivates and lifts the moral of the
employees. Lastly, feedback is the evaluation of work performance passed down from
management to employees. When clear and direct communication is used, the
employees are prone to become more attentive and involved in the organization.

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            In
a criminal justice organization, specifically police work, the five employee
characteristics of employment are put into practice on a daily basis. For
example, police officers are trained in different skills that promote growth
and every task or investigation becomes the sole responsibility of the officer
to complete that results in positive or negative outcomes depending on the
officer’s effort. Task significance and autonomy of police officers work are
coupled, and affect the communities directly by solving and deterring crime.
However, feedback is probably the most crucial part of a police department, it
can result with public outrage or satisfaction.

            In
conclusion, to promote motivation and satisfaction in a workplace, the five job
characteristics developed by Hackman and Oldham (1980) must be utilized.
Employee performance is likely to increase when given more responsibilities and
a sense of acceptance in the workplace. In addition, job redesign increases the
psychological state of workers and produces better work performance (Kalinich, Klofas, & Stojkovic, 2015). In spite of good
department values and practices, employee accomplishment, growth, and
satisfaction with pay are imperative for the success and motivation of an
employee. A good workplace practice starts at the management level and flows
downward to the subordinates, and when good communication is used, everyone in
a department benefits by notably increasing the job satisfaction and
motivation.