What does Job Enrichment Mean?

by Devra Gartenstein - Updated March 06, 2018
Mixed race young people discussing new and creative business ideas

When your employees thrive as human beings, they are likely to do a better job. If they are satisfied and challenged, they will come to work with a positive attitude and see their daily tasks as vehicles for personal growth rather than obstacles and obligations. Job enrichment is the process of making a job more interesting and rewarding by building employee skills and creating a more satisfying and engaging workplace. Although job enrichment strategies address workers as whole human beings, the results are inevitably good for business as well.

Job Enrichment Versus Job Enlargement

One of the ways to make an employee's work experience more engaging and satisfying is to give them new challenges and responsibilities. Expanding an employee's workload and job description is known as job enlargement. This can be tricky terrain because it may look like you are only asking more of your staff rather than giving them opportunities to grow.

People respond differently to job enlargement depending on how they feel about their work and their workplace. An employee with overwhelming family responsibilities may not welcome extra tasks or more pressure, even if the added workload creates a more interesting job. To find clarity in the gray areas between job enrichment and job enlargement, get to know your employees as individuals. Learn about what motivates them and whether they are interested in getting more and giving more at work. Develop personalized plans including education, goals, responsibilities and training.

The Job Enrichment Process

Job enrichment starts with the employee. When successful, it integrates the needs of the individual with the interests of the organization, creating a symbiotic relationship where personal satisfaction at work translates into enhanced performance and productivity. Although more responsibilities increase the workload for your staff, work becomes more interesting and satisfying as workers learn new skills and achieve new levels of success.

Ask your employees what they look for in a job and what type of job enrichment may be in your mutual best interests. Once you start, check in with your employees regularly to find out if they are finding the new jobs too difficult or not challenging enough. If you are not seeing positive results for your employees and your business, make changes that accommodate and benefit both.

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Job Enrichment Quizlet

Some useful terms and questions for a Quizlet about job enrichment might include the differences between job enrichment and job enlargement, and the pros and cons of job enrichment. It could also include questions about job rotation and cross-functional training, and the ways these training processes can enrich an employee's work experience.

About the Author

Devra Gartenstein founded her first food business in 1987. In 2013 she transformed her most recent venture, a farmers market concession and catering company, into a worker-owned cooperative. She does one-on-one mentoring and consulting focused on entrepreneurship and practical business skills.

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