Job enrichment is an exciting HR strategy that has been doing the rounds again lately, although it’s not a new idea by a long shot. In fact, the notion has been around since the 1950s, when American psychologist Frederick Herzberg took a deep dive into the theory of job motivation and found that certain workplace factors are directly tied to employee satisfaction.
His research determined that for a job to be truly satisfying, it had to be underpinned by certain motivators. These included employee recognition, responsibility, meaningfulness, and a sense of achievement. All of these combine to make top companies great places to work.
So how do you ensure that your employees are on the receiving end of some morale-boosting, engagement-pumping motivation? You enrich their jobs, of course.
What Is Job Enrichment Exactly?
The term job enrichment refers to the process of upgrading an existing role by adding some motivators to increase employee satisfaction and productivity. The purpose of the process is to make jobs inherently more motivating by dialling up autonomy, skill and task variety, etc.
It is essential to realise that there is a distinct difference between job enrichment and job enlargement. The latter refers to broadening a given role's scope by providing a person with different tasks. This can often result in more work, but also in a higher skill variety. As such, there is a fine line to tread when using this particular strategy to enrich a job.
How Job Enrichment Paves The Way For Optimal Employee Engagement
Job enrichment contributes to overall employee engagement in two crucial ways. It a) imparts psychological benefits, and b) boosts work outcomes.
Studies show that when employees find meaning in their work, take responsibility for their tasks' outcomes, and gain confidence in their skills and competencies, they become more motivated, deliver higher work performance, and enjoy greater job satisfaction. This leads to a more positive employee experience, less frequent absences, and lower voluntary turnover rates.
What You Can Do To Enrich Jobs at Your Company
Here are five strategies that will lay the groundwork for job enrichment and employee engagement at your place of work this year and beyond.
1. Tailor Instinctive Job Units
Group naturally interrelated job tasks together, so employees can see a job through from conception to end. This way, they can take ownership of a set of tasks and see the results of their work more clearly. It is a great way to pave the way for an increase in overall ownership as well.
2. Establish Quality Circles
Create the time and opportunity for employees to form quality circles who can meet regularly to consider problem-solving solutions and various means of improving organisational productivity.
3. Provide Regular Feedback
Regular feedback is absolutely essential for job enrichment. Taking the time to discuss an employee's performance gives you the chance to pinpoint areas in which they excel, determine where they might be falling short, and identify how you can help them to improve.
Add a layer of peer-to-peer feedback to make it even more effective - compliments from coworkers can really boost engagement from the inside out.
4.Checking Employee Sentiment
Keep a finger on the pulse of employee sentiment by conducting regular pulse surveys. After all, the best way to know if people are finding joy in their jobs is simply to ask them.
An anonymous platform is usually a good idea because it gives employees the opportunity to express themselves freely without fear of unwanted repercussions.
5. Provide Opportunities For Autonomy
Provide autonomy wherever you can. Whether you choose to give an employee the reins when it comes to the scheduling and implementation of a new project, provide flexi-time as an option, or allow them to work from home if it suits your business model, a little freedom can go a long way.
Job enrichment sets the stage for optimal employee engagement. It increases job satisfaction and employee productivity due to the addition of motivators like skill and task variety, regular feedback, and greater independence.
Good ways to start the process include tailoring instinctive job units, establishing quality circles, providing regular feedback, checking employee sentiment, and providing opportunities for autonomy.