all situations, job enrichment is the best response.
Dr Jonathan Booth
development of markets, which are becoming more complicated and dynamic, and
systems and methods of management, which are more likely to inhibit
communication and, thus, demotivate employees, top managers have become
increasingly interested in motivation their employees and reduce absenteeism on
the workplace. Scholars of management have also taken an interest in motivation
employees, arguing that job enrichment can increase the employee’s feelings of
recognition and achievement, reduce repetitive work, whilst provide
opportunities for employee advancement and growth. However, not all academics
have agreed with this “win-win” categorisation, arguing that individual
personalities traits can provide different responses. This essay will review the
strengths of job enrichment (Herzberg, 1959; Griffin, 1991) and weaknesses of
this method (Kelly, 1982; Pollert, 1991) before concluding that job enrichment
can be useful under certain conditions and with particular time of employees
and work. Thus, I will argue that most top managers facing demotivation among
their staff should implement this theory into practice, but only if certain
circumstances are imposed on work process.
of all, it is fair to give an explanation to “job enrichment”. According to
Beatty and Schneider, “Job enrichment is a motivational technique which
emphasis the need for challenging and interesting work. It suggests that jobs
be redesigned so that intrinsic satisfaction is derived from doing the job. In
its best applications, it leads to a vertically enhanced job by adding functions
from other organisational levels, making it contain more variety and challenge
and offer autonomy and pride to the employee”. Job enrichment is, thus, the
method that let employee to schedule, coordinate and plan his own work in order
to improve job satisfaction, motivation and interest in their job, whilst
decrease turnover and absenteeism.
enrichment includes a number of strengths that make this theory attractive
among companies around the world. First of all, job enrichment may eliminate
unnecessary and monotonous tasks, and, what is more important, absenteeism and
boredom at the workplace (Herzberg,1959). It can be illustrated by Griffin
research among bank tellers: after giving an autonomy and some new
responsibilities to workers, their job satisfaction increased significantly,
performance became better over time. Secondly, job enrichment might give a
chance to top managers to identify motivated employees that drives the company
to the top. It means, thus, that to the extent that staff enjoy the challenge
and the autonomy, this might lead to job satisfaction, raising productivity and
reduction of hiring and training costs (Mohr, Zoghi, 2006). Furthermore, Herzberg
– an American psychologists and pioneer of job enrichment theory – highlighted
that the factors which motivate the workers are “growth” factors, or those that
give them a sense of personal accomplishment through the challenge of this work
itself. Finally, this method to increase the
motivation can give an opportunity for a choice, which is necessary in a modern
business world. What I mean, thereby, employee is directly responsible for a
specific customer or client and, more importantly, communicate with them, which
allow the employee to take a feedback of the level of his particular work, that
might include signals of poor or good performance (Griffin, 2001). Following
this, these signals may help to prevent poor performance, as well as low
productivity level, encourage employees to maintain strengths and work more on
the fact that there are some important advantages, job enrichment has also
disadvantages. Firstly, job enrichment is not for everyone (Cherrington &
Lynn, 1980; Hulin & Block, 1968), as well as not for every type of work.
Some people may not want to have extra responsibilities or autonomy, because
they are afraid to make a mistake and to be punished for that. This
disadvantage tends to correlate with the lack of suitable knowledge and basic
human tendency to shirk responsibilities. Moreover, since the development of
technology, for example on the production cycle of machinery, it might be
impossible to implement this method of recovery motivation into production,
because everything is being done by robots and machines, not by men and, most
importantly, giving more authority and rights to worker might be dangerous and
can lead to injury or breakdown that costs a lot for employer. Thus, it should
be clear that employee has time and necessary skills for job enrichment.
Otherwise, it might lead to serious disagreements and problems at the
workplace. The other thing should be take into account is that taking more
responsibilities and autonomy is generally lead to wage growth. Workers want to
be paid more (greater levels of pay or other types of compensation), because
they have more risks and responsibilities for their future actions, so, if
these expectations are not met, it might lead to psychological breach between
organisation and employee. Finally, people tend to be bored by their jobs, it
means that it is likely that job enrichment theory might stop working and
people become unsatisfied and suffer from boredom again. Thereby, job
enrichment might show short-term enhancement in employee’s performance, not
conclusion, top managers facing demotivation among their employees should
certainly be doing far more to implement job enrichment by giving staff more
responsibilities for scheduling and coordinating their own work, provided that
they take into account the well-being, satisfaction, and high level of
performance of the employees. However, before implementing job enrichment, key
findings of Cherrington and Lynn & Hulin and Block, such as lack of skills,
knowledge, should take into account in order to prevent psychological breach or
poor performance of the employee and the organisation in a whole.
Ricky W. 1991. “Effects of Work Redesign on Employee Perceptions, Attitudes and
Behaviors: A Long-Term Investigation.” Academy of Management Journal,
Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 425-435.
J. Richard, and Greg R. Oldham 1976. “Motivation through the design of work:
Test of a theory.” Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, Vol.
16, pp. 250-279.
J. Richard, and Greg R. Oldham 1980. Work Redesign, Reading, MA:
F. One more time. How do you motivate employees? Business review, 1968.
F. Work and Nature of Man. World publishing Co., 1966.
John E. 1982. Scientific Management, Job Redesign and Work Performance, London: