Job Rotation, Enlargement And Enrichment

Job Rotation is a management approach where employees are shifted between two or more assignments or jobs at regular intervals of time in order to expose them to all aspects of an organization’s working. It is a premeditated approach with an objective to test the employee skills and competencies in order to place him or her at the right place. In addition to it, it reduces the monotony of the job and gives them a wider experience and helps them gain more knowledge and skills.

Job rotation is a well-planned practice to reduce the boredom of doing same type of job everyday and explore the hidden potential of an employee. The process serves the purpose of both the management and the employees. It helps management in discovering the talent of employees and determining what he or she is best at. On the other hand, it gives an individual a chance to explore his or her own interests and gain experience in different fields or operations.

Job Rotation Objectives

Job Rotation Objectives

Reducing Monotony of the Job: The first and chief objective of job rotation is to reduce the monotony and dullness involved in a job. It allows employees to experience different type of jobs and motivates them to perform well at each stage of job substitution.

Succession Planning: The concept of succession planning is ‘Who will replace whom’. Its main function of job rotation is to develop a pool of employees who can be placed at a senior level when someone gets retired or leaves the organization. The idea is to create an immediate replacement of a high-worth employee from within the organization.

Creating Right-Employee Job Fit: The success of an organization depends on the on-job productivity of its employees. If they’re rightly placed, they will be able to give the maximum output. In case, they are not assigned the job that they are good at, it creates a real big problem for both employee as well as organization. Therefore, fitting a right person in right post is one of the main objectives of job rotation.

Exposing Workers to All Aspects of the Company: Another main function of job rotation process is to exposing workers to all aspects or operations of the organization in order to make them aware how company operates and how tasks are performed. It gives them a chance to understand the working of the organization and different issues that occur while working.

Testing Employee Skills and Competencies: Testing and analyzing employee skills and competencies and then assigning them the work that they excel at is one of the major functions of job rotation process. It is done by moving them to different jobs and assignments and determining their ability and capacity. Placing them what they are best at increases their on-job productivity.

Developing a Wider Range of Work Experience: Employees, usually don’t want to change their area of operations. Once they start performing a specific task, they don’t want to shift from their comfort zone. Through job rotation, managers prepare them in advance to have a wider range of work experience and develop different skills and competencies. It is necessary for an overall development of an individual. Along with this, they understand the problems of various departments and try to adjust or adapt accordingly.

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Job rotation is a well planned management approach that is beneficial both for employees and management.

Job Enlargement

Job enlargement is a job design technique wherein there is an increase in the number of tasks associated with a certain job. In other words, it means increasing the scope of one’s duties and responsibilities. The increase in scope is quantitative in nature and not qualitative and at the same level.

Job enlargement is a horizontal restructuring method that aims at increase in the workforce flexibility and at the same time reducing monotony that may creep up over a period of time. It is also known as horizontal loading in that the responsibilities increase at the same level and not vertically.

Many believe that since the enlargement is horizontal in nature there is not a great need for training! Contrary to this, job enlargement requires appropriate training especially on time and people management. Task related training is not required much since the person is already aware of the same or doing it for some time.

Benefits of Job Enlargement

The following are the major benefits of Job enlargement

Reduced Monotony: However interesting the job may appear in the beginning, sooner or later people complain of boredom and dullness. Job enlargement if planned carefully can help reduce boredom and make it more satisfying and fulfilling for the employees.

Increased Work Flexibility: There is an addition to the number of tasks an individual performs. There is thus an increased scope of carrying out tasks that are versatile and yet very similar in certain aspects.

No Skills Training Required: Since the individual has already been performing the task in the past, there is no great requirement for imparting of new skills. However people and time management interventions may be required. The job thus gets more motivational for the one performing it.

Job Enrichment and Job Enlargement

The difference between job enrichment and job enlargement is essentially of quantity and quality. Whereas job enlargement means increasing the scope of job quantitatively by adding up more tasks, job enrichment means improvement in the quality of job such that employees are more satisfied and fulfilled.

Through job enrichment an employee finds satisfaction and contentment in his job and through job enlargement employee feels more responsible and worthwhile in the organization.

Job enrichment entails the functions of planning and organizing and enlargement involves execution of the same. Both complement each other, in that job enrichment empowers and enlargement executes.

Job enrichment depends upon job enlargement for success and the reverse in not true.

Job enrichment means a vertical expansion in duties and responsibilities and span of control whereas in job enlargement the expansion is horizontal in nature.

Job enrichment has been found to have greater impact in terms of motivation when compared to job enlargement. Since enrichment gives employee greater insights in managerial functioning and a better work profile, it is looked upon as an indicator of growth and development. The same is not true in case of job enlargement which is seen as an employer tactic to increase the workload.

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Job Enrichment

Organizations are increasingly facing the heat of erosion, which is not good to health of the same. Lots of time, money and resources are spent into training an individual for a particular job and when he / she leaves the return on that investment equals null. Often it is not for the money that people leave; that may be the reason with the frontline staff but as we move towards the upper levels of organizational hierarchy, other reasons gain importance. Many of those who quit their jobs complain of their jobs as uninteresting.

All this has forced organizations to think of ways to make the job they offer interesting. Lots of efforts are made to keep monotony at bay; job enrichment is one of them. It is the process of making a job more interesting, challenging and satisfying for the employees. It can either be in the form of up gradation of responsibilities, increase in the range of influence and the challenges.

How does an Organization Enrich a Job

Typically job enrichment involves combining various existing and new tasks into one large module of work. The work is then handed over to an employee, which means there is an increase in responsibilities and scope. This increase in responsibility is often vertical. The idea is to group various tasks together such that natural work units are created.

In addition expanding jobs vertically also gives employee direct control over works units and employees that were formerly under the jurisdiction of top management only. While on one hand this increases the ownership of the employees in their work, it also relieves the unnecessary burden from the top management.

Job enrichment also opens up a feedback channel for the employees. Employees are frequently apprised of their performance. This keeps them on track and helps them know their weak and strong points. Performance standards are set for the employees themselves and future performances are matched against the benchmarks. All this without any serious intervention or involvement of the top management!

In a certain bank that dealt with commercial credit letters for import and export trade, the employees processed the documents in a sequence with each employee being specialized for certain aspect of verification. Often it so happened that a mistake at preceding level lead to a series of mistakes at succeeding level. Errors accumulated at each level and this result in huge loss of productivity.

The organization decided to go for job enrichment where each employee or clerk was specialized in all aspects of processing. Each employee was now able to handle a client on his own. After some time it was found out that the transaction volume increased by 100 percent!

Benefits of Job Enrichment

Research studies on job enrichment found out decreased levels of absenteeism among the employees, reduced employee turnover and a manifold increase in job satisfaction. There are certain cases however where job enrichment can lead to a decrease in productivity, especially when the employees have not been trained properly. Even after the training the process may not show results immediately, it takes time to reflect in the profit line.

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Enrichment of the following jobs:

1. Sanitation Worker

It is important for managers to think of sanitation workers as an inherent part of the organization. Instead of thinking of their job as degrading and third class, measures must be taken to realize the sanitation workers the importance of their work to the organization. Also along with sanitation work, the workers must be allowed to participate in the decision making regarding sanitation policies of the organization.

2. Security Guard

A security guard does the most important job that is keeping the organization and its members safe. However, the job of a security guard is also seen as the most monotonous job and can lead to boredom and inefficiency in performance and surveillance. Hence, measures must be taken to enrich the job of a security guard. Not more than 12 hours shift should be allotted to the guard which includes 15 minutes break at an interval of 3 hours. Proper security equipment of good quality should be provided by the organization itself. The organization can also enrich the job of a security guard by giving him/her the responsibility of maintaining attendance records of various sanitation workers and other related jobs.

3. Lab Assistant

The work of a lab assistant usually involves repetitive and monotonous jobs which include maintenance and assisting in lab related work. However, the work of a lab assistant is extremely important and even slight negligence can result in big disasters. Hence, extra attention must be paid to their jobs as they need to be on their toes while conducting the job and there is no room for errors here. To improve the performance and removing monotonies, job enrichment activities can be undertaken. They may include teaching kids about the importance of wearing proper safety gear while in the lab. Lab assistant may also be given the job of performing experiments themselves so as to better understand the job they perform.

4. School Teacher

School teachers are although pretty busy throughout the day; their job however may not be as exciting. It is full of routine work and classes and thus needs enrichment at times. Teachers can be provided with floor duties, extra-curricular activities and also conducting various functions etc. This would not only enrich their jobs but also increase their skills and abilities.

5. Receptionist

All that a receptionist does is deal with customers and attend phone calls and thus ties with security guard as being the most monotonous job. Their work however is indispensable and no organization can work without a receptionist. Thus it calls for job enrichment steps that must be taken so as to break the monotony associated with the receptionist’s job. Along with just attending calls and messages, the receptionist can perform the job of a guide to some of the clients (and potential ones also) who visit the organization instead of keeping them waiting. This can include familiarizing them about the organization. Lower graded jobs like that of a copier etc can be recruited with the help of receptionist as these are the people that will remain in the contact of the receptionist the most.


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