Job Enrichment: What Is It, Benefits and Strategies

Employees tend to lose interest in jobs that have gone stale, even if the wage is high. The dissatisfaction can cause workers to leave the job, show up rarely at work, or do the bare minimum. The company’s bottom line suffers as a result. Employers can apply job enhancement theory to solve this problem. 

This article will define job enrichment and its difference from job enhancement. It will also cover the benefits and drawbacks of the strategy and ways to improve it.



What Is Job Enrichment?

Do you often find your team slacking off or absent? Does their productivity constantly plummet? Are more of them submitting resignation letters? If so, they may be starting to lose motivation. Those are signs of being disgruntled.

Staying motivated and engaged at work may seem like the sole responsibility of the employees themselves, but leaders also have a role to play. 

Employees lose motivation for many reasons. It may be because the task has become too easy and boring, or they cannot find value in what they do. Employees can also become demotivated when their hard work isn’t recognized or they don’t get enough freedom to do their job. 

The job enrichment theory can help employers resolve disengagement and poor motivation. Motivated and engaged employees are more productive, less likely to be absent, and tend to stay with the company. 



Job Enrichment Definition

Job enrichment means enhancing jobs to make them more inspiring and satisfying. It can be achieved by adding responsibilities and challenges and increasing skill variety. Other strategies involve creating autonomy and providing feedback. This, in turn, can lead to a more productive, motivated, and engaged workforce.



Job Enrichment Theory

Behavioral scientist Frederick Hertzberg introduced the concept of job enrichment in the 1950s. It’s based on his two-factor theory or the motivator-hygiene theory. This Hertzberg theory argues that people’s performance at work depends on the satisfaction level they experience in the work environment. And to boost satisfaction, motivation must be increased. 

The theory proposes two sets of factors influencing employee satisfaction, which are motivation and hygiene factors. Motivational factors, also called satisfiers, are intrinsic to the job. It satisfies employees’ needs for self-actualization and growth, which leads to job satisfaction. Examples of these are growth opportunities and recognition.

On the other hand, hygiene factors are job factors that do not lead to positive satisfaction. However, the absence of those factors results in dissatisfaction. Examples are pay and job security. 


Job Enrichment vs. Job Enlargement

Some may confuse job enrichment with job enlargement, so we’ll discuss its differences. Job enlargement, as the name suggests, makes the job extensive. It means adding duties or activities within the same level to an existing role, making work less monotonous. 

Job enrichment also involves expanding the job scope, but the additional responsibilities usually require higher-level skills. Furthermore, enriching jobs requires other strategies that will make the work more fulfilling and meaningful.



Job Enrichment Goals

The goal of job enrichment is to create motivating jobs. Employers implement it for many reasons, such as:




Job Enrichment Benefits

Job enrichment benefits both employees and employers in various ways, such as:

  • Employees can learn new skills.
  • Taking on new responsibilities gives employees a sense of accomplishment.
  • Employees feel empowered.
  • Employees are more motivated to show up at work.
  • Employee turnover rate decreases.
  • Work performance and productivity increases


Examples of Job Enrichment

There are various ways to enrich a job, and here are a few examples:

Instead of traditional hierarchical supervision, employers organize employees into self–managing teams. It means the team has the collective responsibility for performance management, task assignment, and design making. This empowers workers and allows them to develop their teamwork and dealership skills. They can also enjoy greater autonomy.

Another example is conducting workshops, online courses, and seminars to give employees opportunities to learn new skills and knowledge. By expanding their knowledge set, employees can take on more challenging tasks and advance their careers.



Strategies to Improve Job Enrichment

If you’re ready to design a motivating and satisfying job, here are a few ways to do so:

  1. Measure established roles using the Job Diagnostic Survey. JDS will help you identify positions that will benefit from job enrichment efforts.
  2. Combine complementary tasks to add job complexity and new responsibilities. Some workers need new opportunities and challenges to stay engaged and develop new skills.
  3. Institute job rotation. Letting employees cross-train will increase their skill set and change their workday experience. Furthermore, it will allow them to understand the importance of each role in the company.
  4. Increase autonomy. Consider loosening up a bit when managing a team. Give employees more freedom at work, like allowing them to choose when to take a break. Increased autonomy can promote a greater sense of responsibility and appreciation.
  5. Conduct employee surveys and provide feedback. Feedback should go two ways. Valuable feedback from managers can encourage employees to do a better job. Meanwhile, conducting surveys provides workers a chance to express their concerns and feel heard and valued.


How Can Kilpatrick Executive Help with Job Enrichment?

Understanding employees’ unique needs and preferences is critical in creating job enrichment strategies. At Kilpatrick Executive, we have the tools that give you valuable insight into your team’s capabilities right from onboarding. Contact us today.