What Is the Meaning of Job Enlargement?

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Job enlargement expands a job horizontally with extra duties.
Job enlargement expands a job horizontally with extra duties. (Image: Worker image by Catabu from Fotolia.com)

Job enlargement is a human resources practice used to motivate employees in a particular position. A job is enlarged horizontally through the addition of new responsibilities and diverse duties.

Basics

BusinessDictionary.com defines job enlargement as a "job design technique in which the number of tasks associated with a job is increased (and appropriate training provided) to add greater variety to activities, thus reducing monotony. It is a horizontal restructuring method in that the job is enlarged by adding related tasks. Job enlargement may also result in greater workforce flexibility." Essentially, the number of items included in a person's job description increases.

Drawbacks

Despite its intention of motivating an employee and reducing monotony in a job, an employee may negatively view job enlargement as more work and less pay, assuming a raise is not involved. For the company, a risk is spreading an employee with a narrow skill set too thinly with tasks.

Benefits

Job enlargement can offer relief and motivation to a bored worker. This can help reduce turnover for the company, improver worker morale, and lead to better productivity. A worker with a wider skill set may also have increased job security.

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