What are the Consequences of Job Enrichment ?

Job Enrichment offers a number of benefits in the organization. In fact ford has gone on to generalize that job enrichment is the solution to all behavioral problem faced by modern organization though this type of generalization does not seem to be justified, and job enrichment should not be viewed as panacea for all behavioral problems. Job enrichment offers certain benefits but it has some limitations.

Benefits: If applied properly, job enrichment offers benefits to the job holder as well as to the organization. The job holder derives satisfaction from the job in the form of recognition, achievement, and self-actualization. For him, the job itself becomes a source of satisfaction. As his job performance improves, he develops a sense of felling that he is contributing something positively to the organization. Various benefits of job enrichment accrue to the organization in the form of better intrinsically-motivated employees, better employee performance and lesser absenteeism turnover, and grievances.

Limitations: Around 1970 , when job enrichment was adopted as a tool of motivation, it attracted lot of criticism from both academicians and practitioners. They questioned the value of job enrichment. In general, the same criticisms of the two-factor theory apply to be enrichment. Apart from the problems in applying job enrichment into practice, it does not offer the results as anticipated,. First, there is a basic question whether workers really want the type of challenges in work contents under job enrichment program. Various surveys, as reviewed by Fein, suggest that very few workers are dissatisfied from their present jobs and only little proportion of them want a change in their job contents. Second, job enrichment is basically limited to unskilled and semi-skilled workers. Jobs of highly-skilled managers and professionals are of varying degree and offer high challenges and accomplishment. As such, there is very little scope of applying job enrichment. These can be enriched not by usual methods but by applying modern management techniques, such as management by objectives, participative management, delegation of authority, status system.

Besides these limitations, there are some problems in applying job enrichment in practice because of which it does not pay adequate dividends. First, the major problem appears to be the tendency of top managers and personnel specialists to apply their own scale of various of challenge and accomplishment to other people’s personalities. This evokes more resistance from workers rather than accepting it. Second, there is tendency to impose job enrichment on worker rather than applying it with their consent. Such type of problem have been faced by many organizations which have attempted job enrichment.

Despite these limitations, job enrichment is a valuable motivational technique, but the management must use it selectively and give recognition to the complex human and situational variables.

Making Job Enrichment Effective: Job enrichment, no doubt, is an effective method to motivate people in the work situation. However, its effectiveness is not absolute but depends on the way in which it is implemented. From this point of view, management should take following points into consideration:

  • There is not a single and universally-acceptable method of motivating  employees at various levels. As which, no single technique can be suitable for job enrichment. The best course is to identify the motivational pattern of employee at various levels taking into account the impact of individual differences. Generally, for less skilled and lower level employees, extrinsic factors of job, such as job security, pay benefits, flexible rules, and more sympathetic understanding by supervisors are most important, while for skilled and higher-level employees., intrinsic factors, such as responsibility, prestige status etc. are more important. Due emphasis should be given to these factors while taking a plan of job enrichment.
  • The employees should be given adequate benefits arising out of job enrichment. There is a need for communication the result of job enrichment to the employees. This way, they feel, more involved in the organization and take greater interest in their jobs.

People like to be consulted and to be given an opportunity to offer suggestions. When their suggestions are given due weight age and incorporated in the functioning of the organization, they feel motivated to put their maximum efforts for getting things done coming out of suggestions.

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