Job Enrichment

Increasing Job Satisfaction

Brighten up the jobs in your team!

© iStockphoto/oonal

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.

Designing Jobs that Motivate

Hackman and Oldham   identified five factors of job design that typically contribute to people's enjoyment of a job:

  • Skill Variety – Increasing the number of skills that individuals use while performing work.
  • Task Identity – Enabling people to perform a job from start to finish.
  • Task Significance – Providing work that has a direct impact on the organization or its stakeholders.
  • Autonomy – Increasing the degree of decision making, and the freedom to choose how and when work is done.
  • Feedback – Increasing the amount of recognition for doing a job well, and communicate the results of people's work.

Job enrichment addresses these factors by enhancing the job's core dimensions and increasing people's sense of fulfillment.

Job Enrichment Options

The central focus of job enrichment is giving people more...

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