Difference between job enlargement and job enrichment — Job enrichment and job enlargement are two types of job design techniques that you will often hear in your workplace. But although the two words are similar, their meanings are different. This article will explain what each means and the advantages and disadvantages of job enlargement and enrichment. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Definition Of Job Enlargement
Job enlargement is the increase in workload within the same level in a company. It means a worker will do more than their assigned jobs in their workplace—for instance, a manager giving the work they are supposed to do to their workers. The primary purpose of job enlargement is to broaden the worker’s task to make it more motivating. Another term often used to describe job enlargement is horizontal expansion because it expands a worker’s job. Unlike job enrichment, job enlargement seeks to increase working motivation to make the employees work harder.
Advantages Of Job Enlargement
The advantages of job enlargement include
1. Expanding work
Naturally, job enlargement increases workers’ responsibilities for their existing tasks. This expands their work and also creates a range of activities. By expanding employees’ work, a lot of pending tasks can easily be covered within a short span of time.
2. Reduce monotony
The expansion of work also leads to decreased monotony. This implies that the workers won’t focus their entire attention on doing one work. Instead, they perform one or more works using different approaches.
3. It teaches skills and also increases growth
Increased workload means increased training and skills, which is helpful because it increases company and individual growth.
4. Earn more
Increased workload also means increased wages, which benefits the employees. The workers tend to have higher paychecks through job enlargement.
5. Increase responsibility
When employees feel responsible for work, they will ensure they execute the task at the right time. This also increases their motivation, and once they achieve the task, they will have a sense of accomplishment.
6. Rewarding experience
Increasing responsibility and a sense of accomplishment make the workers feel more ownership over their work, which is a rewarding experience.
Disadvantages of Job Enlargement
Below are some of the disadvantages of job enlargement;
1. Reduce efficiency
Job enlargement involves doing a variety of jobs, and this reduces the worker’s efficiency. For instance, when a worker is focused on doing one task at a time, they tend to be faster and more efficient, compared to when the worker has numerous responsibilities.
2. Decrease quality
When doing one work at a time, a person can give a high-quality result, but if it involves doing a variety of activities, the quality of the work is likely to be compromised.
3. Increase stress
Sometimes called job creeps, due to continuously increased workload, the workers might feel tired and burnout. This is likely going to increase the stress the work passes through.
Definition of Job Enrichment
Job enrichment is a way of motivating workers to work more by giving them more work. In other words, job enrichment makes an employee’s work more interesting.
This is an idea that is adopted by most companies today, especially when they want to retain their talented employees, this enables the workers to have total control of their work and schedule. Incorporating job enrichment into a company allows the employer to leverage the natural desire of their workers so the workers can do more and help the company grow forward. Before, most employers thought that the best motivator was money, so they tended to provide their workers with high salaries to make them work harder. Even though this might be the truth in some cases, companies have now understood that aside from money, there are other ways to retain their employees and make them interested in the job.
Everybody wants to feel valued and appreciated in their place of work. Through job enrichment, companies can make their workers more engaged through feedback, encouragement, communication, and autonomy. Organizations that aim at enriching their workers’ jobs have the goal of creating meaningful jobs. This also focuses on creating a healthy working environment and also provides the employees with a work-life balance which motivates them to work more. Job enrichment is all about building a healthy work culture solely based on psychological workplace safety, where a growth mindset is encouraged, so the workers tend to look for more work by themselves.
Advantages Of Job Enrichment
The beautiful aspect of job enrichment is that it will benefit everyone in the company, including the employer and the employees. Let’s look at some advantages of this concept.
1. It gives everyone the ability to obtain new skills
Job enrichment allows employees to acquire new skills. Before they execute a particular task, especially one they are unfamiliar with, they must learn the skills associated with the work.
2. Increase motivation
The concept of job enrichment is to increase workers’ motivation. Due to their interest in the work, they are likely to form a group to be more productive and perform their tasks efficiently.
3. Increase performance-based recognition
Employees are motivated to work, enhance their performance and feel rewarded after completing each task. They always like getting rewarded and proving themselves the best choice for that particular job.
4. Elevate their sense of accomplishment
Workers perform more challenging tasks, which they aren’t forced to do. But instead are interested in it, and constantly feel a sense of accomplishment after completing the job. This, in turn, increases their confidence since, initially, they find the work hard and difficult to achieve. This will make them feel motivated to accept other challenging tasks.
5. Decrease employee turnover
Employees that are happy with their working environment are likely to feel more loyal to the company compared to those that aren’t happy. This led to a reduction in employee turnover.
6. Enhances the working environment
Another benefit of implementing job enrichment is enhancing the entire working environment. Employees that work in harmony in a healthy working environment tend to help each other, they can also create groups where they will achieve even highly challenging tasks together. They will feel a sense of belonging towards their colleagues, and there will be fewer conflicts in the workplace.
7. Increase personal growth
Job enrichment enables employees to know their strengths and the highest they can achieve. Knowing this will allow them to grow quickly, and workers will likely find motivation in their growth and success.
Disadvantages Of Job Enrichment
Despite the benefits associated with job enrichment, it has some setbacks. Which includes;
1. Increase workload
Even though the employees will get new skills through job enrichment, this will increase their workload, and they might eventually become less productive due to increased stress.
2. Insufficient skills
Although the workers are ready to accept new work, including challenging ones, they may not have enough skills to execute the task and may also not have enough time to learn the necessary skills required to perform the task.
3. Fear of underperformance
When a worker doesn’t understand the task, they will feel anxious and stressed. Thich leads to a lack of confidence, which can affect the entire outcome of the task.
Key Differences Between Job Enlargement And Job Enrichment
The difference between job enrichment and job enlargement includes;
- Job enlargement involves increasing the workload performed by a particular employee, while job enrichment is a motivation strategy to make work more interesting and engaging to the workers.
- Job enlargement increases the quantity, while job enrichment increases the quality of the work.
- Job enlargement decreases the boredom of performing a task, while job enrichment increases work simultaneously, making the work creative and more interesting.
- Job enrichment needs to increase skills, while job enlargement doesn’t require additional skills
- Job enlargement involves increasing tasks horizontally while it’s done vertically in job enrichment.
- Job enlargement needs more supervision, while job enrichment needs less supervision.
- Job enrichment always produce more positive result compared to job enlargement
- Job enlargement makes workers feel more responsible. In contrast, job enrichment makes them more satisfied and efficient.
When To Use Job Enlargement Versus Job Enrichment
Employers use job enrichment and job enlargement to increase productivity in the company. But the areas of applications of the two strategies differ.
Job enrichment can be used when the company wants to give planning, control, and decision-making to their workers to inspire them and motivate them to work more. It’s a creative strategy to achieve workplace satisfaction regardless of the load.
On the other hand, job enlargement can be applicable when the company wants to increase the workload of its existing employees. This implies the company or organization expands the worker’s responsibilities with or without the consent of the affected employees.
Job enrichment and job enlargement are phrases that look similar but are entirely different, and each has advantages and disadvantages. Above is an overview of the difference between job enlargement and job enrichment. Job enlargement means expanding a worker’s workload to broaden the task, while job enrichment motivates workers to work harder through motivation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is job design?
Job design is the process of organizing effective strategies to improve workers’ productivity, job satisfaction, and organizational performance.
What is an example of job enlargement?
An example of job enlargement is when a machine operator is asked to work on a variety of machines within the same production line, thereby leading to an increase in their role. Or, when a marketing assistant is assigned to work on a variety of different marketing campaigns, thus expanding their duties.
What are some examples of job enrichment?
An example of job enrichment is when an engineer is assigned more challenging projects. The engineer might be given more sense of ownership of the project by allowing them to make decisions related to the projects.
can job enlargement and job enrichment be used together?
Yes, job enlargement and job enrichment can be adopted together at a workplace to give employees autonomy and increase their tasks.
Which approach is better; job enlargement or job enrichment?
The choice between the two techniques of job design depends majorly on the goals the company aims to achieve. The employees’ preferences could also determine the best technique to choose.
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