Job depth is the amount of authority and freedom an individual enjoys in a job. People dislike being controlled and tend to value freedom. As such, job depth is a type of working condition that is associated with employee satisfaction and retention. The following are common examples of job depth.
Micromanagement reduces job depth while other styles of management such as management by exception may increase job depth.
Management By ObjectivesManagement by objectives is the practice of managing employees by giving them goals to achieve as opposed to supervising their work hour after hour. This increases job depth as compared to the industrial model of strict supervision.
Internal ControlsInternal controls such as processes and procedures reduce job depth while open-ended or impromptu processes tend to increase it. For example, a rigid government bureaucracy may not allow for much freedom to do things in creative ways.
AuthorityGenerally speaking, authority increases job depth as this requires an employee to make regular decisions.
Accountability & ResponsibilityAccountability and responsibility don't necessarily increase job depth except for the fact that these are highly correlated with authority.In some cases, an employee enjoys significant job depth without authority because they are able to lead with influence. As such, job depth isn't all about the employer as employees commonly work to expand their influence and freedoms. For example, a highly productive and respected employee usually has far more freedom than an employee who is viewed as a low performer.
Strategy is the process of setting goals and plans to achieve goals. Authority or influence over strategy is the top level type of job depth.
Decision MakingThe ability to make decisions. For example, a customer service representative with authority to issue refunds based on rational thought as opposed to strict policy.
DesignDesign and design thinking are satisfying types of work that typically allow for creative expression. For example, a designer who creates a user interface.The freedom to set career goals and take steps towards those goals. For example, selecting training based on your goals as opposed to attending mandatory training.
Work-Life BalanceWork-life balance related freedoms such as setting your own work hours.
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