Introduction

Job Enlargement is usually considered as a technique followed by employers to offer a variety of jobs. In short, it can be said to give more responsibilities to an existing employee at the same level. For example, a person who is working at an assembly line in a car manufacturing company will be given more responsibilities, such as another assembly line to attend to. Still, he will not be given greater responsibilities like managing an entire warehouse as it will not be on the same level. 

It can also be termed as the horizontal expansion of jobs.

The increase in the job activities is done so that it does not affect the employee’s existing job. The employee is adhered to perform his existing job as well as the new job assigned to them.

The main objective of job enlargement is to increase the working employees’ flexibility, thus providing them greater exposure to a variety of new activities.

  1. Importance Of Job Enlargement
  2. Advantages Of Job Enlargement
  3. Disadvantages Of Job Enlargement
  4. Examples Of Job Enlargement

1. Importance Of Job Enlargement

  • Job Enlargement is considered a vital technique as employers adopt this process to motivate the employees who are currently fed up with their job and avoid job boredom.
  •  Employees often prefer job Enlargement as they consider this as pre-promotion training. 
  • This process is beneficial for employers when there a shortage of labor for a short period. For example, when a female employee takes leave due to pregnancy, her job will be divided and offered to work employees as a part of job enlargement.
  • It provides the employees a greater exposure and develops their skills which will ultimately result in greater work efficiency.
  • The job position will be made more intuitive and interesting for the employee, thus making the employee more responsible towards the organization.

2. Advantages Of Job Enlargement

  1. Skill Development : The employee who is offered job enlargement will get exposure to a variety of new responsibilities and will learn new working procedures. This will develop the working skills of the employee.
  2. Wider Range Of Activities : When the employee is made to perform more jobs at the same level, a wider range of activities can be completed within a given span of time. This, in turn, increases time efficiency.
  3. Reduced Job Boredom : Doing the same task every day will make any person feel bored and lose interest. Job enlargement will offer various new tasks to the employee, which makes the job more interesting.
  4. Motivation To Employees : This process highly motivates the employee as it is generally considered pre-promotion training. The employee will be motivated to work harder with an expectation of promotion or wage hike.
  5. Increase In Earning Capacity : The earnings of both the employer and the employee is increased. When more activities are performed by an employee, it reduces the want of a new employee and reduces the cost for the employer. The employee might be given a salary hike for performing an increased number of activities.
  6. Employee Efficiency : As more responsibilities are given to an employee, it increases the person’s accountability and makes him/her more efficient in their work.

3. Disadvantages Of Job Enlargement

  1. Decreased job quality : When new jobs are offered to an employee experienced only in one type of work, he/she might face difficulty attending to the jobs without proper training. Unskilled labour often leads to inefficiency in jobs.
  2. Job Exploitation : Sometimes, workers will feel as if they are over-exploited and often get stressed. The increase in the variety of activities must not go beyond a certain extent.
  3. High Training Costs : In some organizations, the employees might require additional training to perform extra activities. The cost of training the employees may exceed the wage amount for a new employee, and employers will consider hiring a skilled employee instead of training the existing employees.
  4. Work Burden: The employers may assign an increased number of jobs to an employee which he/she cannot manage. This increases the burden of work on the employee and leads to overstress and loss of efficiency.

To provide an in-depth understanding of job enlargement, here are a few examples:-

4. Examples Of Job Enlargement

  • A nurse working in a hospital is given responsibilities for attending to two more patients due to the lack of doctors.
  • A financial accountant of a company is advised to maintain cost records after proper training until a cost accountant is hired.
  • A salesperson who was formerly responsible only for the sale of the product is given the duty to collect the cash from the buyers.
  • A factory supervisor is made to also supervise the warehouse after the factory timings.
  • A truck driver responsible for delivering goods to customers is given a new responsibility of transporting raw material to the factory.

CONCLUSION

From a layman’s perspective, job enlargement is nothing but getting more work to do. It is beneficial for both the employer and the employee, so it is win game for everyone. So next time your employer offers you job enlargement, you may probably get a promotion soon.

Are you interested in learning more about Analytics in Workforce Management? Take a look at our People Analytics and Digital HR program, in collaboration with IIM Indore. This is a 3-month long program with instructor-led sessions by IIM-I faculty.

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