Using Job Enrichment & Enlargement To Improve Employee Performance

January 13, 2015

Successful statisticFor the majority of managers, reviewing a resume that shows frequent movement from job to job would illicit feelings of dread. These individuals demonstrate low motivation at best, and substance use or mental illness at worst.

The vast majority of managers will discard these resumes without calling candidates, and research regarding job performance and tenure supports this decision. The expense of training coupled with low productivity and poor organisational commitment, these high turnover rate candidates typically prove to have a poor return on investment value.

However, for candidates with promising work histories and a year or more tenure per position, it is well worth the time to interview the applicant to determine the cause of frequent job changes.

A candidate who changes work places regularly but seems to maintain similar job titles may report consistent problems with colleagues or supervisors, indicating they may be a poor team player and the wrong choice for the position.

On the other hand, many of these candidates may state that they were not challenged or given adequate opportunities to advance their career. Though some of these employees will continue with these job-hopping behaviours regardless, many are ambitious and creative individuals who work best in stimulating environments. These individuals are excellent candidates for a position that is enhanced to meet their unique work styles.

When leaders hire these candidates, they must remain aware of signs of boredom as the employee settles into their roles. Leaders should periodically conduct a thorough job analysis and evidence-based performance appraisal that includes measures of stress and boredom.

This process will provide leaders with an understanding of the tasks the employee has already mastered, and the aspects of their job that they are strongly engaged in.

Leaders can then use the unique strengths of these employees to fill vital roles in the organisation. These employees thrive under job enrichment programs, often finding the added challenge of new and difficult tasks to be intrinsically rewarding.

Providing continuous opportunities for cross training in other positions in the department can keep these individuals engaged, while ensuring that no major tasks fall behind if someone calls out sick.

Since these individuals can have distinctive skill sets and experiences, they are usually able to come up with unique approaches to projects that can help to overcome difficulties. Many organisations have successfully implemented “Problem Solving” roles for these types of individuals, and have achieved increased productivity and decreased reports of lost time resulting from challenges and complications.

Once these individuals settle in and see that they will continue to be challenged in their roles, they will surely come out of their shells and engage with the work team.

Directing their creative energy to the betterment of the department can be challenging for managers, but once a balance is found these employees tend to demonstrate significant increases in performance, engagement and satisfaction with their job.

When managers take the time to evaluate these apparently job hopping individuals and take a chance on training those who appear to be promising candidates, they will find that the return on investment may turn out to be quite rewarding.

The continued use of job enrichment will ensure that these charismatic individuals have an excellent understanding of organisational processes, and will they will soon become a valued and integral part of the work team.

Many Thanks

Mark Williams

Head of Training and Development
Mark Williams 3
(Image by dollarphotoclub)

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