Job Enrichment Essay

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Job enrichment arises with the inherent  need of employees to be satisfied with their jobs and the tasks that need to be accomplished. Mundane  and repetitive tasks and routines might lead employees to lose interest  in their jobs and subsequently  become dissatisfied and lose morale. Similarly, job content  and factors  such  as job scope,  lack of complexity  and challenge of routine  work duties, job stress, lack of intrinsic  or internal  motivation,  lack of job involvement, and lack of managerial motivation and support can lead to the dissatisfaction of employees. This can have an adverse impact  on organizational  practices as well as on the productivity of the company.

One way of motivating employees to perform better and increase their commitment to the organization is through  redesigning  and enriching  their  job descriptions and task specifications. Job enrichment, sometimes also referred to as vertical role integration, offers greater  scope  for personal  achievement  and recognition at work. Job enrichment is an attempt  to motivate employees by giving them the opportunity to use a wide range of their abilities, knowledge, and skills. It allows employees to perform  beyond their predefined  duties, feel valuable to the organization, and  further  contribute to  the  realization  of organizational  goals and  targets.  It  provides  scope  for challenging  and  responsible  work. Job enrichment also offers opportunities for continuous  growth and advancement.  Job enrichment can take a variety of forms and occur for many reasons, but it normally involves aspects  such  as having a variety of tasks, autonomy, and the extent to which the job produces an tangible end result.

Job enrichment can take two forms. The first one is to increase  responsibility  for decisions  traditionally made by supervisors. For instance, certain tasks could include  scheduling  of work and  allocation  of tasks. This increased  responsibility  gives employees the autonomy  to perform their duties without direct and strict  supervision  that  occasionally can lead to demotivation  and increased stress in the workplace. The second form refers to upgrading jobs to include additional skilled tasks that are not elements of supervisory work, like machine maintenance and ordering supplies.  This provides  employees  with  a range  of tasks and challenges of varying difficulties that  will help them  engage in their  work. Ideally, these  two forms of job enrichment should also contain feedback, encouragement, and communication so as to further motivate employees to go beyond their duties and perform better.  Getting  feedback on their performance means that errors  can be detected  and corrected  so as to improve the productivity  and accountability  of workers. Therefore, if employees perform  their  jobs correctly, then satisfaction is greater, performance  is improved, and this leads to enhanced motivation and organizational commitment.

Job enrichment includes a number of different workplace practices, such as quality circles, self-directed teams, job rotation, and information  sharing. One possible reason for adopting these practices is to motivate  workers and to encourage  them  to participate in improving productivity, safety, and the quality of their products or services. An alternative motivation for adopting job enrichment is to enlarge the jobs by encouraging multitasking and to adopt peer monitoring. This also improves productivity and, in return, job satisfaction. Furthermore, job enrichment can lead to better work methods, attracting  and retaining capable employees as well as helping to increase quality and improve decision making at the job level.

Moreover, job enrichment is closely linked to autonomy in the workplace. Employees receive higher levels of flexibility and responsibility in the tasks that they have to perform, allowing for an enriched  content  and context  of their jobs. This means that  jobs are delegated and decentralized  so as to achieve the highest possible performance,  to minimize  employers’ control, and to reach the organization’s aims and objectives more  effectively. Also, having flexible job content  enables employees to redirect  their  efforts, focus on their resources and consider new approaches when  dealing with  problems.  This in turn  leads to increased satisfaction and enthusiasm.

Overall,  the  purpose   of  job  enrichment  is  to make  jobs  more   intrinsically   rewarding   through the enhancement of responsibility, authority, and accountability. Job enrichment increases employees’ sense of belonging as well as engaging them to perform better.  This, in turn,  leads to higher organizational  commitment, job satisfaction,  and improved results. This also has a direct positive effect on organizational  performance,  on the organization’s reputation, and on its relationship with customers.


  1. John H. Bernardin, Human Resource Management (McGraw-Hill  College, 2009);
  2. Steve Durkac, 21 Motivational Insights on Leadership Enrichment (Steve Durkac, 2007);
  3. Geraldine Grady and Alma M. McCarthy, “Work-life Integration: Experiences of Mid-career  Professional Working  Mothers,” Journal of Managerial Psychology (v.23/5, 2008);
  4. John M. Ivancevich, Human Resource Management (McGraw-Hill College, 2009);
  5. Roberto LunaArocas and Joaquin Camps, “A Model of High Performance Work Practices and Turnover Intentions,” Personnel Review (v.37/1–2, 2008);
  6. Rino J. Patti, The Handbook  of Human Services Management  (Sage, 2009);
  7. Sophie Rowan, Happy at Work: Ten Steps to Ultimate  Job Satisfaction (Prentice Hall Life, 2008);
  8. Stephen J. Wood and Toby D. Wall, “Work Enrichment and Employee Voice in Human Resource Management-Performance Studies,” International  Journal of Human Resource Management (v.18/7, 2007).

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