It never ceases to amaze me, why job evaluation is such a darling of the workers in most organizations. Such an interest could be attributed to a lack of misunderstanding about what is job evaluation. It is against this background that this paper seeks to dissect the cloud of myth woven around job evaluation.
According to Wikipedia, job evaluation is a systematic way of determining the value/worth of a job in relation to other jobs in an organization. It tries to make a systematic comparison between jobs to assess their relative worth for the purpose of establishing a rational pay structure.
Myth 1. Some employees claim that job evaluation is synonymous with job analysis
I wish to dismiss this myth by drawing your attention to the differences between job evaluation and job analysis in terms of their meaning, nature of process, and objectives. Job evaluation is a comparative process that looks at the relative worth of jobs against each other whereas job analysis is a comprehensive process that looks at the anatomy of the job. Apart from that, the key output of job analysis is the job description and the key output of job evaluation is a grade structure. Given this background, it is a misnomer to say that job evaluation and job analysis are the same.
Myth 2. Another disturbing misconception of job evaluation is that it looks at the job holder
It must be noted that job evaluation is concerned with the scope of the job and it does not consider the job holder. By way of extension, job evaluation should focus on the duties and responsibilities of the job and not the person doing the job.
Myth 3. Job evaluation is akin to performance appraisal
Contrary to this assertion, job evaluation is not in any way related to performance appraisal since it is not concerned with the ability of the job holder and assumes that all job holders are competent. Performance appraisal is concerned with the capacity of employees to execute their duties and has nothing to do with the job itself. Neither does it look at the status nor the stature of the job holder. So an analysis that epitomizes job evaluation and performance management as one and the same thing does not do justice to the job evaluation process.
Myth 4. Job evaluation leads to an increase or decrease in salary
It should be noted that job evaluation is not concerned with any increase nor decrease in salary. Instead, it is used as the basis for setting up a fair, equitable, and defensible pay structure that is devoid of any discrimination. Therefore to claim that job evaluation is concerned with an increase or decrease in salary is an organizational fallacy.
Myth 5. Job evaluation is a scientific process
Such an assertion must be dismissed with the greatest contempt it deserves for job evaluation is not in any way scientific but rather is a systematic process.
Myth 6. Job evaluation is a human resources baby
Such an assertion has to be looked at through the microscopic mind of an organizational analyst. Job evaluation is an organizational process from which other core organizational processes emanate. So for anyone to make such a claim is to blow reality out of proportion. However, the point is the human resources department is the custodian of the job evaluation system and all its results.
Myth 7. Job evaluation is a worker's committee baby
It is a matter of regret that some worker's committee members make a false impression that job evaluation cannot be done if it does not have the worker's committee members. To add insult to injury some worker's committee members purport to influence the outcome of job evaluation. However, note that job evaluation is not an industrial relations issue and with or without the members of the workers' committee it can be done. Therefore it is imprudent for any employee to believe that their grade or salary can change because of influence from the workers' committee.
Given this background, no wonder why the job evaluation process is characterized by a mixture of excitement, frustration, resistance, and conflict.
Newturn Wikirefu is the Talent Acquisition Manager at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm.