Meaning of Job Enlargement
What do you mean by job enlargement? Why is it important in today’s world? Is there any necessity for such an enlargement? Will it be beneficial for the organization or become a bane for it?
Job enlargement refers to widening in scope and activities of the same job of the same level to make the position challenging. It increases the responsibilities towards a particular job profile to bolster the motivation for the job. Job enlargement increases the basic work of the employee which ultimately leads to an increase in tasks resulting in an increase in work for the employees and making them develop professionally. This technique of job enlargement makes the individual job ready and adaptive to the developing technology.
But job enlargement cannot be synonymized with job promotion. It is a horizontal phenomenon, unlike job enrichment which is vertical promotion. It’s a form of redesigning work to counteract the boredom of routine tasks and develop new designs.
Example of Job Enlargement
The teacher of a childhood school daily makes the students learn the same poem and play the same activities in a routine is a monotonous task. The teacher, if asked to merge various tasks and change the activities which everyone will enjoy, will lead to a healthy environment in the school and the enthusiasm of the teacher as well will be maintained. Hence, the diversity in the job will prove to be a boon for the school.
Similarly, another example of an accountant daily performing the same entries and preparing balance sheets and profit loss accounts is boredom. Hence his work can be combined with some finance and HR roles which will comprise taxation, costing, and payroll work as well, resulting in diversity in the work and more skills and expertise of a person knowing diverse fields.
Sometimes, change in work tasks can bring in a much-needed boost in enthusiasm and increase the morale of the employee. The employee needs to increase productivity to accomplish new tasks, achieve new goals, implement new strategies, and speed up his output. This will not only benefit the professional employee but also the organization as four different works are being performed by a single professional thereby saving employee costs for the organization.
Another example can be a clerk who does typing daily. Does this increase the value of his skills? No, he is involved in a boring routine. Then what can be changed? The work, the method, and strategies or the change in the position to some extent related to the position. He may be asked to serve glasses, perform filing work, design letters, and sort incoming mail. This will reduce monotony and make him satisfied on the job and increase his efficiency.
Job enlargement has several advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Job Enlargement
- Variety in tasks and reduction in monotonous tasks- Job enlargement focuses on highly specialized skills and division of labor, thereby removing monotony and making the person interested in the job by increasing the loading of the tasks.
- Feedback- Enlargement in jobs creates meaningful performance feedback. It will be motivating if combined with evaluations, analysis, and rewards in the organization.
- Teaches employees new skills- Job enlargement mainly focuses on the skill and abilities of the employees which comprises both mental as well as physical abilities of the worker. Enlarged jobs are, though, challenging but attainable.
- Work-paced control- If the rhythm of the workplace is maintained, and the employee enjoys his work then he feels less tired from doing the work. Hence, one must try to give a satisfactory feel to the employee regarding the job.
- Power of decision making- Gives more power to the employees making them accountable for their work, increasing their responsibility and decision making.
Disadvantages of Job Enlargement
Expensive- Enlarging the job can prove to be a costly method, as it will require imparting training to the employees. If the training needs the redevelopment of the existing working process and redesigning of the system, the costs would be sustainable.
Failure in results- Sometimes, the results expected may lead to unfavorable outcomes. Inappropriate production will prevail in the short run because of the advent of new technology.
Disputes- The demand for an increase in pay because of an increase in workload creates disputes between the management and the workers for their tasks.
Increases workload- Enlargement of jobs may lead to an increase in the workload of the employees. It also pulls down their energy leading to inefficient working and thus, undesirable results. This ultimately effects the overall output of organization.
Enhancement in work job enlargement makes the individual realize their importance in the organization. They do multiple tasks in multiple ways which result in efficiency. The time taking training to employees is advantageous to the company as the management’s support makes them adaptable to the respective job profile. Job enlargement is one of the techniques of job redesign, which increases job responsibility, and duties and makes them accountable for their work.
Extending the range of jobs so the number of activities gets increased is the way to expand the job market. The expansion can be done in two ways- horizontally and vertically.
Horizontal enlargement leads to an increase in similar tasks in the current job. This involves converting a non-attention job to a surface attention job because of being less mechanical. For example, the travel agent is given additional zones for travel purposes.
Vertical enlargement involves widespread tasks involving more mechanical work. It involves the expansion of the job either by inspecting or engaging in other works and selecting their own works and setups.
Job enlargement may prove to be addressing issues in the initial runs but considering it to be sustainable might not be a great idea. One threat is the response to the uncertainty of the employees about the redesign. Though job enlargement poses a mental and physical strain on the employees, it increases their skills and knowledge and plays an important role in alleviating the burden of diversity.