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Job Enrichment

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Job enrichment means additional motivators added to the job so that it (job) is more rewarding, although the term has come to be applied to any effort to humanize jobs.

Job enrichment is a type of job redesign intended to reverse the effects of tasks that are boredom, lack of flexibility, and employee dissatisfaction.

The underlying principle is to expand the scope of the job with the greater variety of tasks, vertical in nature, that require self-sufficiency. 

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Learn about:-

1. Meaning of Job Enrichment 2. Concept of Job Enrichment 3. Objectives 4. Characteristics 5. Purpose 6. Steps 7. Core Dimensions 8. Merits and Demerits.


Job Enrichment: Meaning, Concept, Objectives, Characteristics, Techniques, Steps, Dimensions and Other Details

Job Enrichment – Meaning

Job enrichment refers to structuring of jobs to involve higher level conceptual thinking and responsibility so that employees can take decisions that were formerly the prerogative of superior managers. According to Keith Davis, “Job enrichment means additional motivators added to the job so that it (job) is more rewarding, although the term has come to be applied to any effort to humanize jobs.”

Paul Robertson and Herzberg in 1969 have observed, “It seeks to improve both efficiency and human satisfaction by means of building into people’s job quite specifically a greater scope of personal achievement and recognition, more challenging and responsible work and more opportunity for individual advancement and growth.”

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According to R. S. DAVAR, the expression job enrichment refers to providing opportunity for the employees psychological and mental growth.

Thus in brief, we can say that, job enrichment encourage growth and self-actualization. It increases motivation and improves performance and thus provides more productive and more lively jobs. The worker or employee has greater job satisfaction.

In Job enrichment programme, an employee decides how the job is performed, planned and controlled and makes more decision concerning the entire process.

Employees decide how the job will be performed and receive less direct supervision. They are given greater autonomy and responsibility and jobs are restructured in such a way that they become more meaningful, interesting and challenging. Job enrichment is based on the assumption that the job itself must provide opportunities for achievement, recognition, responsibility, advancement and growth to motivate the workers.

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Thus, job enrichment consists of a vertical loading of the job so that the job holder himself controls the planning and execution of his job. For example a lecturer in the college or University is given freedom to make his lecture more meaningful, attractive and interesting by following his own method without violating the basic rule of teaching and institution.

Most of us want interesting, challenging, jobs where we feel that we can make a real difference to other people live. As it is for us, it is for the people who work with or for us. So why are we so many jobs so boring and monotonous? And what can you do to make the jobs you offer more satisfying? By reducing recruitment costs, increasing retention of experienced staff and motivating them to perform at a high level; you can have a real impact on the bottom line.

One of the key factors in good job design is job enrichment, most notably promoted by psychological Fredrick Herzberg in his 1968 article “One More Time- How Do You motivate Employees”? This is the practice of enhancing individual jobs to make the responsibilities more rewarding and inspiring for the people who do them.

Job enrichment involves providing an employee with more responsibility for a job and challenges the individual’s skill at work. Enrichment involves increasing the decision-making authority and encouraging the employee with their tasks. Providing employees with meaningful tasks will increase their performance compared to just “piling” on a lot of work and increasing the same type of work-load.

Job enrichment directly relates to motivation factor and employee satisfaction. The concept of job enrichment was developed by Fredrick Herzberg in the 1950s. Previous studies have shown that job enrichment causes significant increases in employee job satisfaction, job involvement and increased internal motivation. Decreases in absenteeism were also found to be a result of increased job enrichment.

Job enrichment is a type of job redesign intended to reverse the effects of tasks that are boredom, lack of flexibility, and employee dissatisfaction. The underlying principle is to expand the scope of the job with the greater variety of tasks, vertical in nature, that require self-sufficiency.

Since the goal is to give the individual exposure to tasks normally reserved for differently focused or higher positions, merely adding more of the same responsibilities related to an employee’s current position are not considered job enrichment.

The basis for job enrichment practices is the work done by Fredrick Herzberg in the 1950’s and 60’s, which was further refined in 1975 by Hackman and Oldham using what they called the Job Characteristics Model. This model assumes that if five core job characteristics are present, three psychological states critical to motivation are produced, resulting in positive outcomes.


Job Enrichment – Concept

Work is one of the primary means of achieving economic, political and cultural goals. People spend a considerable amount of time in working and earning livelihood. People are working year after year. Therefore work / job have become an issue for many workers because it is losing its intrinsic (internal) value and there is no motivation among the employees.

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Some of the workers are dissatisfied with their work which adversely effect on efficiency, productivity and on motivation, efforts have been made to use job for motivating employees in organization, job enrichment and job rotation are the examples in that direction.

HERZBERG is the first in this direction. In his famous research on motivators and maintenance factors focus on job enrichment also, and now, job enrichment has become a popular concept.

Job enrichment means changing or improving a job so that a worker is likely to be more motivated. It simply adding a few more motivators to a job to make it more rewarding. It provides the employee with an opportunity for greater recognition, advancement, growth, and responsibility.

To be specific, a job is enriched when the nature of the job is exciting, challenging and creative or gives the job holder more decision making, planning and controlling powers. It would make the job more interesting and challenging. It is designed to be less specialized and more enriched.

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More autonomy will be given to the workers, allowing him to plan inspect and keep the control on his own job, It means upgrading of responsibility, scope and challenge. It does not mean to make the work more varied but to make every employee a manager.

An employee will perform the functions of management such as planning controlling etc. It provides an opportunity for the employee’s psychological growth. In every enriched job, an employee knows the overall deadlines and quality standards to the work.

Within that framework of the plans and controls and holds himself responsible for meeting the deadlines and the quality standards. Job enrichment is more successful in improving quality of the work than its quantity and keeps the employee morale high. He gets satisfaction of doing the job well. Job enrichment removes job monotony, boredom and dissatisfaction on the part of the employee.


Job Enrichment – Objectives

Job enrichment involves vertical loading, addition giving more challenge, it applies to improvement of job in such a way that it has more motivators than before and at the same time maintaining the degree of maintenance factors. It is based on the assumption that in order to motivate personnel, the job itself must provide opportunities for achievement, recognition, advancement, responsibility and growth.

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As per opinions of Sirota and Wolfrom job enrichment as “the design of a job to provide a worker with greater responsibility more autonomy in carrying out the responsibility, complete job, and more timely feedback about his performance”.

The basic objectives of a job enrichment programme are to motivate people to work to their highest level of capacity and ability improve employee relations, attract and retain quality employees, reduce absenteeism, improve quality and productivity, and increase return on investment.

In the process of job enrichment jobs are redesigned to take account of the higher-order needs of individuals. Much of the impetus for job enrichment has come from the work of Herzberg (1966), who sees the intrinsic aspects of the job as vital to increased satisfaction and production. Educators and Psychologists say that jobs must be enriched in order to get satisfaction and a sense of achievement from the work of workers.

The good part is that both the workers and management derive benefit from adopting them. The job enrichment programme as an ongoing phenomenon of managing people has become very essential and the need has been felt by many progressive organizations to introduce it.


Job Enrichment – 8 Main Characteristics

Herzberg Focused on Eight Characteristics of Job Enrichment:

(1) Direct Feedback- An employee can easily get the feedback of what he has achieved? What is the result of his work done?

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(2) Client Relationship- In an enriched job, an employee develops direct relationship with his client or customer. Such client may be either inside or outside the organization.

(3) New Learning- An enriched job allows an employee to feel that he is growing mentally. Such employee always learns something new on the job.

(4) Scheduling Own Work- Full freedom is given to the employee to schedule for his own work, contributes to enrichment of job. In case of employees who perform creative or some outstanding work, opportunity should be given to them to schedule their assignment then to the employees performing routine jobs.

(5) Unique Experience- An enriched job has some unique qualities and features which ultimately results in unique in doing a job.

(6) Control over Resources- Every employee have to control his resources and expenses, contributes to job enrichment. He is having authority to order whatever supplies he required for performing a job.

(7) Direct Communication Authority- Job enrichment allows the worker to contact directly with the people or customers who are the user of his product. Therefore he is able to get the feedback of the users about his output / product.

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(8) Personal Accountability- An enriched job holds the employee responsible for the work done or for the results. He will be praised for good work and would be blamed for bad /poor work.

In Herzberg, two factors, motivational theory, job enrichment is a valuable motivational technique.

An Outline of Herzberg’s Job Enrichment:

Specific Changes:

Aims at job enrichment:

1. Removing control and retaining accountability.

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2. Increasing the accountability.

3. Assignment of complete natural work / unit

4. Granting additional authority.

5. Making periodic reports which directly available to worker rather than the supervisor.

6. Introduction of new and more difficult challenging tasks not previously handled.

7. Assigning specific or specialized task for expertise.

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Motivators:

Aims at increasing the following:

1. Responsibility and personal achievement.

2. Responsibility and recognition.

3. Responsibility, achievement and recognition.

4. Responsibility, achievement and recognition.

5. Internal recognition.

6. Growth and learning.

7. Responsibility, growth and advancement.

Job enrichment is a relative term, developed recently. It increases workers motivation. But it is not a substitute for good supervisory practices, wages and company policies


Job Enrichment – Purpose

1. Increasing the responsibility of the job by adding different tasks.

2. Giving a natural unit of work to an employee.

3. Allowing employees to set their own standards.

4. Providing the freedom of work by minimizing control.

5. Introducing new, innovative, tough and creative tasks to the employees.

6. Encouraging employee participation in planning and decision making process.

7. Making or holding an employee directly responsible for his performance in the organization.


Job Enrichment – Steps in Job Enrichment (With Some Action Steps)

The process of job enrichment has the following steps:

(i) Selection of a job which is convenient for job enrichment.

(ii) Identification of change that will enrich the job.

(iii) Making a change in the content of the job to make the job more attractive and also to make the employees more responsible.

(iv) Providing training, guidance & encouragement to employees.

(v) Identifying motivational factors like achievement, recognition, responsibility etc.

(vi) Introducing the job enrichment programme in to the daily work routine of the organization.

Action Steps for Job Enrichment:

Job enrichment makes the job more challenging and enhances the worker’s responsibility, motivation and enthusiasm. Dale S. Beach has suggested specific action steps for designing enriched jobs.

They are as follows:

1. Creation of natural or logical work units.

2. Combining several duties which require various skills into each job.

3. Allowing the employees to have direct contact (if possible), and knowledge about the people for whom his products are required.

4. Providing vertical job loading to incorporate some planning and controlling duties into the job.

5. Providing feedback information to the employees to correct and improve their performances.


Job Enrichment – 5 Main Core Dimensions of Job Enrichment

Lawler and Hachman have identified three core dimensions that especially provide enrichment for job. It is desirable that all the five dimensions be provided.

(1) Skill Variety:

The employees who are performing different operations using several procedures and may be using different equipment. The jobs which are having a lot of variety, employees feel that, such jobs are more challenging simply because they required a range of skills while performing it. These jobs also relieve monotony that develops from any repetitive function. Variety gives employees a greater sense of competence, because they can perform different kinds of work in different ways.

(2) Task Identity:

Task identity is the second core job dimension, which allows employees to perform complete piece of the work. Many job enrichment efforts have been focused on this dimension. In the earlier days due to over specialization of routine jobs, individual employees worked on a small part of the whole work/job that they were unable to identify any product with their efforts.

The employees could not feel any sense of completion or feel any responsibility for the whole product. When tasks are broadened to produce a whole product or an identifiable part of it, then task identity has been established.

(3) Task Significance:

“Task significance” is third core dimension of job enrichment. It refers to the amount of impact that the work has on other people, which is done by the worker. This impact may be on others in the organization or may be on others outside the organization. Because of task workers believe that they are also having something unique and important in their organization or in the society in which they live.

(4) Autonomy:

The fourth core dimension of job is “autonomy”. It controls over the affairs of the employee. Autonomy builds a sense of responsibility in workers. It is a fundamental characteristic which must be developed among all the employees. The workers have to work within the broad constraints of an organization, they also insist on a degree of freedom.

(5) Feedback:

A fifth core dimension is feedback. Feedback refers to information that tells workers how well they are performing. Since they are investing substantial part of their lives in their work, they want to know how well they are doing. If their performance is not satisfactory they must try to improve the same, watch such workers and inform them how they are doing now. Weekly and daily reports are much better for feedback.

The model is self-explanatory that what is the relationship between the job dimension and emerging psychological states and results of personnel and work outcomes.

Hackman and Oldman in 1976 have developed a questionnaire called the Job Diagnostic Survey which provides an objectives and quantitative measure of five core dimension the responses to it will reveal how much each core dimension is present in a job.

If a job is high on all five dimensions, the job enrichment is not needed even if employees are unproductive or unhappy. It means that such job is already enriched but the cause for employees unhappiness or poor performance are unrelated with the design of the work.

There are five core dimensions that provide enrichment of jobs:

1. Task Variety:

The optimum variety of tasks within the job variety which provides enlargement and enrichment of job and allows employees to perform different operations that require different skills. Jobs that are high in variety are seen by employees as more challenging because of the range of skills involved.

2. Task Identity:

Task identity allows employees to perform a complete piece of work. The work flow from start to finish. Many job enrichment efforts have been focused on this dimension.

3. Task Significance:

The third dimension refers to the amount of impact the work has on the workers and on other people. The impact can be on others in the organization as and when the worker performs a key job in the work process, or it may be on those outside the or fahisation, viz., a worker helps to manufacture a lifesaving drug.

4. Autonomy:

Autonomy is the job characteristics that gives employees some control over their own affairs, and it appear to be fundamental in building a sense of responsibility in workers. Maslow hierarchy of needs also mentions autonomy as a possible additional step on the need scale since it is so important to many people. Flexible working time and some scope in standard setting is an important way of giving workers more autonomy.

5. Feedback:

Feedback refers to information conveyed to workers how well they are performing. It comes from both the job and management. The idea of feedback is a simple one but it is of much significance to people at work.


Job Enrichment – Merits and Demerits

The following are the merits or benefits of job enrichment:

(1) It improves and enhances the basis relation between the person and his work.

(2) It attempts to change one’s behaviour positively while maintaining the change.

(3) It helps to convert monotonous work into a source of motivation.

(4) It offers a change to initiate and allow other organizational changes and alter the management style.

(5) It helps organization in the long run in rehumanizing than dehumanizing their manpower.

(6) Job enrichment enables the employees and the organisation to be more flexible.

(7) It enables the employees to be more committed to their organisation.

(8) It checks the organisation from over staffing.

(9) It enables the organisation to get more competitive advantage from its employees.

(10) It becomes a powerful tool to create a learning organisation.

The following are the demerits or drawbacks of job-enrichment:

1. Job enrichment may initially reduce productivity.

2. The management may not involve in supporting functions.

3. It may make attrition rates higher.

4. It requires large investment in terms of time and money,

5. Managing people becomes difficult due to high empowerments.


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