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: Howsoever interesting the job may appear in the beginning, sooner or later people complain of boredom and monotony. 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 enlargement (sometimes also referred to as “horizontal loading”) involves the addition of extra, similar, tasks to a job.
- In job enlargement, the job itself remains essentially unchanged. However, by widening the range of tasks that need to be performed, hopefully the employee will experience less repetition and monotony that are common on production lines which rely upon the division of labor.
- With job enlargement, the employee rarely needs to acquire new skills to carry out the additional task, and the motivational benefits of job enrichment are not usually experienced.
- One important negative aspect is that job enlargement is sometimes viewed by employees as a requirement to carry out more work for the same amount of pay
Difference Between 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.