Job Enrichment

By James Farrell

Job enrichment is the process of enhancing job satisfaction and fulfilment by reforming the roles and duties that an employee carries out on a day to day basis. Too many employees are trapped in unrewarding and monotonous jobs that offer little or no professional satisfaction. It is particularly common among primary and secondary occupations that involve the repetition of tasks and little or no responsibility.

The absence of job fulfilment and consequently enrichment, can often lead to anxiety and unhappiness among the workforce which ultimately affects employee performance. There are a number of helpful ways that can contribute to job enrichment among the workforce that will ultimately boost your output however it is important to consider the following:

Existing working conditions for staff
Procedures for employee appraisal
What is already expected of the each staff member
The role played by management and supervisory staff

Job Design
There are five features of job design that are linked to employment enrichment among staff and if applied successfully, will contribute to their overall happiness and personal development:

Skill Variety
Task Identity
Task Significance
Independence and self-sufficiency

Skill variety supports the increase of skills and expertise staff should employ during their work. Task identity involves allowing an employee to undertake a particular task and performing it from start to finish. This will give them a sense of achievement and enable them to identify the duty as exclusively theirs. Task significance refers to a particular duty that will have a direct impact on the business.

Independence and self sufficiency involve increasing the amount of decision making bestowed upon an employee whereas feedback appreciates the importance of recognition following a job well done.
In essence, enhancing job design will increase job satisfaction and fulfilment to create a contented and more productive workforce.

The following are some suggested strategies that can be employed to encourage increased job enrichment and personal development.

Alternate Job
By enabling employees to rotate tasks throughout the business gives them a greater awareness of the functions of the company. It will allow them to see different parts of the company as well as diversifying their original duties. This strategy works particularly well for jobs that involve the repetition of one of two skills.

Encourage Teamwork
Managers and supervisory staff who initiate teamwork are systematically improving the job satisfaction of their employees. By appointing the final goal, all internal decision-making and influence now rests in the hands of the team. This method is especially good for businesses with a large hierarchy as it reduces the pressure placed on management and allows staff to acquire management skills without formal training.

Combine Tasks
Following on from job rotation which offers a greater degree of skill variety, the merging of differing work activities improves task identity. Task identity enables an employee to witness the complete evolution of a product, from start to finish. The same principles are espoused in the process of joining tasks. It must be remembered however, that the implementation of this strategy may forfeit an increased level of productivity. Employees who are unfamiliar with the new task may work at a slower pace at the beginning.

Delegation of power and responsibility
An employee’s feeling of job enrichment can also come from the attainment of responsibility through supervisor delegation. Placing an employee in charge of various tasks and affording them accountability of certain responsibilities can improve job satisfaction and fulfilment. It is crucial that the employee is made aware that such power comes with responsibility.

Employee feedback
Employee feedback is potentially one of the most important aspects of employee satisfaction. It is important that you deliver feedback on both good and poor employee performances. A personal approach is always more appreciated than a bureaucratic one. Employees are more likely to heed the advice from their manager whom they know and respect as opposed to a supervisor from another department who was asked to carry out the evaluation.