Trautmann, Mireille Voelcker-Rehage, Claudia Godde, Ben
Year of Publication:
[Journal:] Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung – Journal for Labour Market Research [ISSN:] 2510-5027 [Volume:] 44 [Year:] 2011 [Issue:] 4 [Pages:] 339-347
In modern work environments, employees need to flexibly adjust their abilities to an increasing complexity of their work place demands. We assumed that a fit between demands and individual abilities might positively influence work ability, job-related self-efficacy, and job satisfaction as important indicators of job performance. A misfit on the contrary, might have adverse effects and interfere with job performance measures. Linking to the demographic change, it is even more important to analyze if age has an impact on the association between fit or misfit and performance outcomes to reveal evidence for age specific intervention strategies. We asked 103 employees and 15 supervisors of a production company to rate individual abilities and work-place demands in the sensory, motor, and cognitive fields to identify associations between a fit/misfit and outcomes that influence job performance. Our analyses showed that a fit/misfit between subjectively perceived demands and abilities in motor control influenced job-related self-efficacy. This was particularly true for blue collar workers and for older employees. A fit/misfit between the supervisor- and employee-rated abilities to learn new tasks had a high impact on work ability. Both white and blue collar workers as well as middle aged and older employees were sensitive to this effect. A fit/misfit between employee- and supervisor rated ability to deal with high task complexity was not associated with job satisfaction over the entire group, but in white collar workers and older employees. We conclude that a fit/misfit between work abilities and demands as well as between self and supervisor ratings of the employees' abilities has to be constantly evaluated with regard to age and work type to maintain healthy and productive employees.