Human Resources Management - How To Facilitate Job Enrichment

Job Enrichment should be distinguished from enlargement job enlargement attempts to make a job more varied by removing the dullness associated with performing repetitive operations. In job enrichment, the attempt is to build in to jobs a higher sense of challenge and achievement. The accumulation of achievement must lead to a felling of personal growth accompanied by a sense of responsibility.

The goal of job enrichment is not merely to make the more varied but I the words of M.Scoot myers research for taxes investment, which has been experimenting with the techniques is to make every employee a manager ‘ . Thus the employee job is enriched will perform the management function of manning and controlling so far as his work is concerned.


How to enrich a job

A job may be enriched by giving it Varity, and also may be enriched by :

1. Given worker more latitude in deciding about such things as work method, sequences and pace or by letting them make decisions about accepting or rejecting materials :

2. Giving workers a felling of personal responsibility for their tasks.

3. Taking steps to make sure that people can see how their tasks contribute to a finished products and the welfare of the enterprises.

4. Giving people feedback on their job performance preferable before their supervisors get in and

5. Involving workers in analysis and change of physical aspects of the worker environment such as lay out of office or plant, temperature, lighting and cleanliness.


Thus in an enriched job the employee know the overall deadlines and the quality standard he must meet and with in that frame work plans the order in which he will take the various task and the time that should be devoted to each one. He holds himself responsible both or meeting the deadline and for producing the work of necessary quality, and he does not pass his work on for others to judge until he is satisfied that it meets the standards. Or if the work is necessarily group work, the groups plan or help to check the result.


Job Enrichment in action

A number of companies have introduced programs of job enrichment in all these, companies claims have been made that productivity was increased, that absenteeism and turnover reduced , and that moralo improved . A study conducted by the United States Department of Health Education and welfare Published in 1973 reports that the primary course of dissatisfaction among workers is the nature of their work. It also reported that managerial personnel react favorably after jobs are enriched. How ever after analyzing a number of studies. Fein disclosed the following:

(a) University of Michigan survey research center in a large scale found that people ranked interesting work first in importance. But when managers are removed from the sample. Fein discovered that the worker ranked pay and job security higher than interesting.

(b) A company which claimed great success with the experiment was taxes instruments. But here Fein found that only 10.5% workers were actively involved work.

(c) Fein cautions not to be carried away by the success in toptaka of primal foods as the point has only 63 employees who were selected carefully. And in case of AT and T benefits accrued due to simple redesigning of job.

(d) Fein also expressed the view that the presumption of workers demand for job enrichment is not supported by labor leader saying that the union member have never asked them to negotiate for it . More ever these programs have been initiated by manager and not by managed.

Despite Fein’s analysis and criticism it is difficult to believe that people do not want more meaningful work. This must be true of managers and professionals and there can be some demand from workers.



But even the strongest supporters of job enrichment readily admit that three are limitations in its application They can be analyzed in the following manner.


1. Technology: There are some jobs, which are highly technical requiring skill it would be difficult to enrich such jobs. And with specialized machinery and assembly line techniques it may not be possible to make every job meaningful.

2. Cost: Thought a great many companies appear to be interested in job enrichment programs, the extra cost may seem high if a company is not convinced that the return will at least offset the increase expenditure. General Motors tried six man and three man teams in the assembly line but from that they found the work shoed and cost increased. At Saab & Volvo and motors India. It was found that increase cost is compensated by reduced absenteeism and labour turnover. Yet the cost of the programme is formidable factor.

3. Attitude of managers: Another problem is the tendency of top managers and personal specialist to apply their own scale people’s personalities. As a result a few companies have abandoned or modified their programs. M.Scott Myers belives that the failures have occurred because the manager were not really committed to theory ‘Y’ and in most cases job enrichment is usually imposed on people . They are told about it rather than consulted.

4. Attitude of Workers: The attitude of some employers also represent obstacles. Various surveys of workers attitudes have shown that high percentages of workers attitude have shown that high percentages of workers are not interesting jobs. Some have complained that enriched jobs provide too many opportunities to commit mistakes. Some workers fears that the increased productivity sought may even mean loss of jobs.

5. Reaction of union Leaders: There has been little or no support of job enrichment by union Leaders. If job enrichment was so important to workers. It must have been translated in to united demand but it has never happened . Instead Leonard woodcock the President of united Automobile Worker has been quoted to have said about job enlargement that “a” lot academic writer are writing a lot of nonsense’.


How to make it Effective

The limitation of job enrichment apply mainly to jobs requiring low level of skills. The job of highly skilled workers professional and manager already contain varying degrees of challenge and accomplishment. Perhaps these could be enriched considerably more than they are by applying modern management techniques . And all level particularly in non-managerial levels several approaches could be made to job make enrichment appeal to higher-level motivations.


1. The people involved must have a substantial voice in the planning process. It should not be overlooked that people like to be involved, to be involved to be consulted and to be given an opportunity to offer suggestions. They like to be considered as people. This would effectively result in the successful functioning of the programme.

2. There is needed for better understanding of what people want. It has been pointed out by motivation researches that this varies with people and situations generally people with few skill want extrinsic factors such as pay, benefits, job security, sympathetic supervisor as then one moves up the ladder intrinsic factors do become increasingly important.

3. It should also result in worker enrichment if productivity increases are the main goal of job enrichment, the programme must show how workers would benefit.

Job enrichment, in short involves redesigning of the immediate job, it also requires an enlargement of sense of respect by those who manage. In our complex personal impersonal bureaucratic organizations, this respect for the individual can be lost all too quickly. But with out this respect we can never expect to make full use of our human resources.

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