Brighten up your job!
Most of us want interesting, challenging jobs where we feel that we can make a real difference to other people's lives.
As it is for us, so it is for the people who work with or for us.
So why are so many jobs so boring and monotonous? And what can you do to make the jobs you offer more satisfying? (By reducing recruitment costs, increasing retention of experienced staff and motivating them to perform at a high level, you can have a real impact on the bottom line.)
One of the key factors in good job design is job enrichment, most notably promoted by psychologist Frederick Herzberg in his 1968 article "One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?". This is the practice of enhancing individual jobs to make the responsibilities more rewarding and inspiring for the people who do them.
With job enrichment, you expand the task set that someone performs. You provide more stimulating and interesting work that adds variety and challenge to an employee's daily routine. This increases the depth of the job and allows people to have more control over their work.
Before you look at ways to enrich the jobs in your workplace, you need to have as your foundation a good, fair work environment. If there are fundamental flaws – in the way people are compensated, their working conditions, their supervision, the expectations placed upon them, or the way they're treated – then those problems should be fixed first. If they are not resolved, any other attempts to increase satisfaction are likely to be sterile.
Hackman and Oldham identified five factors of job design that typically contribute to people's enjoyment of a job:
"When I started using Mind Tools, I was not in a supervisory position. Now I am. Along with that came a 12% increase in salary." – Pat Degan, Houston, USA
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