Job dissatisfaction is a common problem among many employees. In many cases, this is due to monotonous and boring jobs. Therefore, to avoid poor productivity and staff turnover, employers and managers need to find a way of making jobs more satisfying. One of the best ways of enhancing job satisfaction is job enrichment. This involves exposing employees to more challenging and interesting tasks, or giving them more control over their work.
The following are some ideas you could consider for enriching jobs:
- Combine tasks – This is a great way of making assignments more complex and challenging. When employees use different skills to accomplish tasks, work seems more significant. One of the best ways of combining tasks is by allowing someone to singlehandedly complete a project which is normally handled by several people.
- Rotate jobs – This involves moving your employees from one job to another within your organization. Job rotation gives them the opportunity to have a better understanding of the organization while learning different skills. This can especially motivate individuals whose jobs are un-demanding and mundane
- Create project-based work units – Instead of having the usual organizational departments, you could break them down into project-based units. For instance, you could split your marketing department into units comprising of designers, copywriters and concept creators. Creating such autonomy allows your employees to have more task identity. In addition, it makes it easy to monitor progress and get feedback
- Build autonomous work teams – This approach involves first setting a goal for a team. However, the team has the freedom to choose their members, assign tasks, set their work schedules and evaluate their progress. Having autonomous work teams allows your workers to develop their management and leadership skills. In addition, it eliminates the need for supervisors
- Apply participative management – Here, team members are allowed to take part in strategic planning and decision making. When employees realize that their opinion is important, they are likely to be motivated
- Power and authority redistribution – In many organizations, all the power and authority rests upon the managers and supervisors. Redistributing power and authority gives your employees the ability to make decisions related to their jobs. As a result, team members develop more task identity and autonomy
- Increase feedback – Your employees need to receive regular feedback on their job performance. Giving your teams the freedom to monitor and evaluate their own performance will result in more job enrichment. Workers will learn how to take initiative, solve problems and make decisions
Some of these job enrichment techniques might work in some situations but not in others. When choosing a strategy for your workplace, take time to consider the organization’s mission, as well as the workplace dynamics.
Here are some guidelines for applying a job enrichment strategy:
- Research – Before implementing job enrichment, you should first carry out research to find out the levels of job satisfaction among your workers. One of the best ways of doing this is through a formal survey. This will give you an idea of what people want
- Consider the options – Think of the job enrichment strategies that would work best in your situation. However, it would not be advisable to redesign the whole work process. This would only end up causing confusion in the organization
- Design and implement – Once you’ve identified the appropriate strategy, tailor it for your organization. But, before implementing it, update your employees and get their feedback. Your job enrichment efforts are likely to succeed when workers are involved from the onset. Don’t forget to evaluate your efforts on a regular basis
When job enrichment is applied properly, it will be easier to motivate, attract and retain a qualified workforce.
Image courtesy of iStockphoto, STEEX