What’s it: Job enrichment is a method of motivating employees by making work more interesting and challenging. It may involve variations in duties, roles, and responsibilities. In addition, the company gives employees more autonomy and flexibility over their work. Thus, they have more control over their work.
Job enrichment aims to reduce boredom due to repetitive and monotonous tasks, create job satisfaction, and motivate employees. In addition, it also provides opportunities for employees to develop their personal and professional abilities to support career advancement.
Why is job enrichment important?
Job enrichment enables employees to satisfy needs other than physiological needs. As Maslow’s hierarchy of needs suggests, they have several needs to satisfy, such as self-esteem and self-actualization. Long story short, monetary compensation does not fully satisfy all their needs. It only satisfies basic needs but does not make them grow psychologically.
Furthermore, as some basic needs have been met, the company also needs to design programs to encourage intrinsic motivation. As in Herzberg’s theory of motivation, factors other than monetary compensation are important to encourage job satisfaction and motivation.
Monetary compensation only satisfies employees but does not lead to higher motivation. So, for example, when employees are satisfied with the salary received, the company needs other ways to motivate them, for example, through job enrichment. It allows them to self-actualize and advance in their careers, which increases their sense of accomplishment.
How do job enrichment and job enlargement differ?
Job enrichment and job enlargement focus on two different aspects: quality and quantity. Job enrichment focuses on quality by restructuring jobs vertically. It involves variation in function, responsibility, autonomy, control, and increasing variety in work and challenges.
Meanwhile, job enlargement focuses on quantity. The company adds more tasks to the same job without changing challenges. In addition, the company did not change the overall authority and autonomy but only increased the number of assignments.
How does job enrichment work?
Job enrichment improves work life by making employees’ jobs more interesting and challenging. It can be done through several combinations. First, the company assigns employees more varied tasks, demanding higher skills and responsibilities.
In addition, the company is adding roles by assigning multiple tasks to their current departments. For example, take employees in the accounting and finance departments as a case. You assign employee responsibilities and assign him to various roles in his department. For example, suppose he usually only handles bookkeeping. In that case, you have them run a cost control function or get involved in budgeting.
Then, enrichment may also require your company to offer more flexibility in performing roles, allowing employees to manage time and work priorities. In addition, you give them more authority to make decisions about their work, allowing them to have more say about their work.
As a result, your employees have more varied tasks and challenges and more control over their work lives. However, they still work at the same level in the chain of command in the organizational structure.
What are the advantages of job enrichment?
Motivate employees. The company encourages job satisfaction and motivation by providing opportunities to develop skills and self-actualize through various tasks, challenges, and more autonomy and flexibility.
Develop competence. Employees have more variety in their responsibilities and duties, giving them the opportunity to learn needed new skills and hone their current skills.
Reduces boredom. Variation in tasks and roles makes work life more interesting and challenging. It is important to prevent loss of motivation due to monotonous and boring work.
Bring out the best potential. Employees get more complex and challenging tasks and roles, allowing them to reach their full potential.
Better prepared for a more advanced career. Employees learn new skills needed in careers. In addition, they learn to understand the various roles within their department, enabling them to be better prepared for a higher position, say as department head.
Higher commitment. High job satisfaction makes employees more committed to their work. They are also more involved in the work and roles in their department.
What are the disadvantages of job enrichment?
Heavier workload. Companies may provide too much variety in duties and responsibilities. It can increase stress because it may exceed the employee’s capacity. Instead of motivating, it creates dissatisfaction and demotivates them.
Lower productivity. A heavier workload makes employees tired. Therefore, it could reduce their productivity. Combined with inadequate preparation, it could make their performance deteriorate.
Work inefficiency. Employees often do not have adequate skills and knowledge in new activities. Thus, they cannot be as efficient as those trained or skilled in these activities.
Time-consuming. Some employees may take longer to adapt to their new responsibilities. As a result, they cannot quickly carry out their new assignments, possibly disrupting workflow and operations.
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