Today's organizations must deal with trends such as rapid product changes, technology adjustments, global competition, deregulation, demographic changes, and a shift to a service economy in which organizations can no longer limit themselves to job descriptions (Raza & Nawaz, 2011). Employees can learn adaptability through job enrichment by being flexible through responsibility, autonomy, achievement, work, growth, development, and recognition.
In the past job based approaches stressed that employees should complete jobs through specific work activities, obligations and accountability (Lawyer, 1993). In modern times a greater emphasis should be placed on the individual by focusing on skills, competencies and abilities (Lawler, Mohrman, & Ledford, 1992). The new focus creates a dynamic shift from the function of the job to the enhancement of the individual. The more enhanced the individuals abilities the more they can benefit the organization and weather environmental difficulties.
Job enrichment is a qualitative change to employment that increases autonomy, accurate feedback, job significance, and influence on their work environments (Hackman & Oldham, 1976). Job enrichment encourages workers to learn, develop, and innovate solutions which furthers morale and satisfaction (Hackman & Lawler, 1971). As the employee learns higher levels of work mastery in a variety of arenas they become more capable in their abilities, more knowledgeable of their environment, and take greater ownership of their work. It is this knowledge that they alone are responsible for their work and have ownership of their results that leads to greater motivation (Orpen, 1979).
Adaptable employees are have a vested interest in their organization and draw a definition of their self through the work that they complete. It is this adaptability and satisfaction that furthers their commitment to achieve organizational objectives and further enhance their skills. The basic components to organizational success lay both within the leadership function and the capabilities of employees. Highly skilled employees can change with fluidity during crisis while less adapted employees must not only change their skills but also their self-identity.
A survey of 534 respondents indicated that job enrichment was associated with job motivation, job satisfaction and mildly with organizational commitment (Raza & Nawaz, 2011). The study further help cement the ideas that motivation, satisfaction and commitment are associated with mastery over ones work, autonomy, and greater knowledge of the work environment. The path to higher levels of motivation rests, in part, in the development of workers through appropriate training and development which leads to general enrichment of their capabilities.
Hackman, J. & Lawler, E. (1971). Effects of job redesign: a field experiment. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 3 (1).
Hackman, J. & Oldham, R. (1976). Motivation through the design of work: test of a theory. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 16, pp. 250-279.
Lawler, E. (1993). From job-based to competency-based organizations. CEO Publication G, 93-8 (228).
Lawler, E., Mohrman, S. & Ledford, G. (1992). Employee involvement and total quality management: practices and results in fortune 1000 companies. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Orpen, (1979). The effects of job enrichment on employee satisfaction, motivation, involvement, and performance: a field experiment. Human Relations, 32, pp. 189-217.
Raza, M. & Nawaz, M. (2011). Impact of job enrichment on employees' job satisfaction, motivation, and organizational commitment: evidence from the public sector of Pakistan. European Journal of Social Studies, 23 (2).