What Is Job Enrichment?

Whitney Leigh White

Job enrichment is a concept that is used within many businesses of all sizes operating within all types of industries. Frederick Herzberg is credited with coming up with the concept in the 1950s, as well as with coming up with the concept’s name. It is used within businesses to motivate employees by allowing the employees to take on a range of responsibilities, which enables them to use an assortment of their talents, skills, and abilities. Many times, job enrichment, also described as vertical loading, is contrasted with the concept of job enlargement, which is described as horizontal loading. It was mainly developed to increase internal employee motivation within an organization.

Bored employees might benefit from job enrichment with variety.
Bored employees might benefit from job enrichment with variety.

There are a number of ways that can be utilized to introduce job enrichment. Most businesses develop a detailed plan, as this allows them to identify their goals for implementing the concept, which ultimately enables them to achieve these goals. Along with developing a detailed plan, most businesses make sure that their employees have the resources available to effectively perform the tasks assigned to them. Without the proper tools, employees will feel discouraged, which defeats the entire purpose of implementing the concept. In addition to a detailed plan and proper tools, businesses have also discovered the importance of maintaining open communication so that job enrichment goals can be achieved.

Employees who experience frequent boredom are likely to fall behind in their productivity levels.
Employees who experience frequent boredom are likely to fall behind in their productivity levels.

Many businesses that utilize job enrichment will provide their employees with an increased number of tasks, as well as an increase in decision-making authority. Augmenting both of these areas tends to increase employees’ job productivity because it fuels their job motivation. Along with an increase in job productivity, many businesses also endure a decrease in absenteeism. Both of these increases lead to a marked improvement in profit levels for an organization. Many businesses find that they must develop a job enrichment plan for each individual, as each employee’s motivational factors generally differ.

The best way to employ job enrichment is through top management. Top management employees find that including variety within their job enrichment plans enables them to significantly increase employee satisfaction by decreasing employee boredom. This is one of the main reasons this concept is typically utilized. Employees that experience boredom at their workplace generally fall behind in their productivity levels and sometimes leave to find a more fulfilling job. Employing this concept enables a business to retain its best employees by stimulating employee interest and improving workplace environments.

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