What’s it: Job enlargement is a method to motivate by giving employees more tasks without changing the challenges. The company gave some new assignments but did not change the overall authority and autonomy.
Job enlargement can motivate employees in the short term. Employees have more activities, reducing boredom due to monotonous routines. It’s also a way to reduce absenteeism. However, demotivation and stress may appear as the workload gets heavier in the long run.
Why is job enlargement important?
Job enlargement allows employees to have more activities to do. So, it is expected to reduce boredom due to doing the same task repeatedly. It is also useful to encourage job satisfaction and motivation in the short term.
In addition, increased responsibilities and duties are also important to reduce absenteeism. There is no reason for employees not to come into the office. Tasks and work have been waiting for them in the office.
Then, by entrusting additional tasks, it increases employee pride. Employees feel the company trusts them by giving them more assignments. They may also think their role is important to the company’s success.
How does job enlargement work?
Job enlargement focuses on the quantity aspect, namely by adding more tasks. It’s not like job enrichment, which focuses on quality. Under job enrichment, companies provide additional tasks with more varied challenges. In addition, companies also provide greater responsibility, autonomy, and flexibility.
Meanwhile, job enlargement requires companies to assign more tasks to employees at the same job level. They reevaluate the tasks associated with a particular role and determine how new tasks can be added. They don’t change the challenge. Likewise, authority and autonomy do not change.
Take an employee in marketing as an example. In his old role, he focused on selling products to new customers. He manages potential clients, approaches them, offers products, and closes deals. Every day he does it.
Due to monotonous work, he becomes bored and finds additional activities. He wanted more responsibility. Then, the company gave him additional tasks, such as conducting consumer research to explore customer needs. The new task can make him excited.
An important point to consider for this method to be successful is the workload and employees’ capacity. Giving additional tasks must be adjusted to the individual capacity. If the company overworks employees beyond their capabilities, it can lead to stress and decreased productivity.
In addition, the company needs to provide appropriate support. For example, the company provides employees with adequate resources to complete additional tasks. Another way is to provide them with proper training to be more effective in doing the enlarged job.
What are the advantages of job enlargement?
Motivate employees. Additional tasks prevent employees from losing motivation due to boredom at work. By giving new assignments, employees have more activities. Moreover, they are excited because the company entrusted some additional work.
Reduce absenteeism. Additional work awaits and requires employees to keep coming into the office. Since they have more to do, there’s no excuse not to come to work.
Higher involvement in work. Job enlargement increases employee effort and exposure to achieve what the company targets for their work.
Develop skills. Extended work requires employees to practice the new skills needed to effectively perform more tasks. Thus, it helps them in their personal and professional development.
Reduces boredom. Additional tasks leave employees with more activities to do. It reduces the boredom due to doing the same job repeatedly.
Increase earning capacity. New skills resulting from job enlargement allow employees to earn more when applying for new jobs. It increases their bargaining position when applying to other companies.
Save costs in the short term. Companies can save costs because existing employees have the capacity to do more tasks. Thus, the need to recruit and train new employees can be reduced.
What are the disadvantages of job enlargement?
Increased workload. Additional tasks increase the workload. It can lead to stress and demotivation if employees get assignments beyond their capacity. This is because the task becomes heavier than they can handle.
Short-term motivation. Employees may be happy when they get a new assignment. Their activity increases, making them more excited. But, they can lose motivation after some time as the workload gets heavier.
Quality decreases. With higher busyness, employees may prioritize getting work done. The heavier workload makes them less focused. Finally, they may tend to overlook quality; after all, what matters is the job done.
Lower productivity. Stress can lead to decreased productivity. Employees can’t focus and lack enthusiasm. Finally, they produce output more slowly or consume more resources.
More costs in the long run. Short-term costs may decrease as employees can handle more tasks. Thus, the need to recruit and train new employees is reduced.
However, the opposite effect may occur in the long term. When employee productivity declines, the company produces output at a higher cost. In addition, the company may also have incurred costs to train employees to adapt to the enlarged job.
Give rise to industrial problems. Employees may feel exploited. They claim the company burdened them with new jobs without increasing compensation. Finally, it can give rise to industrial problems.
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