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Job enrichment is an attempt to motivate employees by giving them the opportunity to use the range of their abilities. It is an idea that was developed by the American psychologist Frederick Herzberg in the 1950s. It can be contrasted to job enlargement which simply increases the number of tasks without changing the challenge. As such job enrichment has been described as 'vertical loading' of a job, while job enlargement is 'horizontal loading'. An enriched job should ideally contain:
- A range of tasks and challenges of varying difficulties (Physical or Mental)
- A complete unit of work - a meaningful task
- Feedback, encouragement and communication
- Job enrichment is defined as a way to motivate employees by giving them more responsibilities and variety in their jobs. The idea was first developed by American psychologist Frederick Herzberg in the 1950s and states that a well enriched job should contain a range of tasks and challenges of varying difficulties, meaningful tasks, and feedback, encouragement, and communication. While money is one way to motivate employees more and more workers want to be appreciated for the work they do. Allowing employees to have more control over their work taps into their natural desire to succeed.
Job enrichment, as a managerial activity includes a three steps technique:
1. Turn employees' effort into performance:
- Ensuring that objectives are well-defined and understood by everyone. The overall corporate mission statement should be communicated to all. Individual's goals should also be clear. Each employee should know exactly how he/she fits into the overall process and be aware of how important their contributions are to the organization and its customers.
- Providing adequate resources for each employee to perform well. This includes support functions like information technology, communication technology, and personnel training and development.
- Creating a supportive corporate culture. This includes peer support networks, supportive management, and removing elements that foster mistrust and politicking.
- Free flow of information. Eliminate secrecy.
- Provide enough freedom to facilitate job excellence. Encourage and reward employee initiative. Flextime or compressed hours could be offered.
- Provide adequate recognition, appreciation, and other motivators.
- Provide skill improvement opportunities. This could include paid education at universities or on the job training.
- Provide job variety. This can be done by job sharing or job rotation programmes.
- It may be necessary to re-engineer the job process. This could involve redesigning the physical facility, redesign processes, change technologies, simplification of procedures, elimination of repetitiveness, redesigning authority structures.
2. Link employees performance directly to reward:
- Clear definition of the reward is a must
- Explanation of the link between performance and reward is important
- Make sure the employee gets the right reward if performs well
- If reward is not given, explanation is needed
3. Make sure the employee wants the reward. How to find out?
- Ask them
- Use surveys( checklist, listing, questions)
4. How To increasing job satisfaction and performance is done by decreasing job dissatisfaction, caused by wages and working environment, and increasing opportunities for growth, responsibility and recognition for achievement. By rewarding employees you are showing them that their work matters and that you are taking note. Asking for employee input is the best way to begin implementing job enrichment techniques. Since these techniques do not work for everyone it is important that you provide workers with enrichment techniques that will be beneficial to both you and them.
- Feder, B.J. 2000, "F.I. Herzberg, 76, Professor And Management Consultant", New York Times, Feb 1, 2000, pg. C26. Available from: ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851–2003). [28 October 2006].
- Hackman, J.R. & Oldham, G.R. 1976, 'Motivation through the design of work: Test of a Theory”, Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, [Online], vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 250–279. Available from: Science Direct. [1 November 2006].
- Mione, P. 2006, " Job Enrichment", Online paper.