A Brief Guide to Understanding Job Enlargement

Employment enlargement or job enlargement is a method in job design, in which the amount of tasks associated with specific work grows. In other words, it means increasing the scope of one’s responsibilities and duties.

This change is quantitative and not qualitative, and at the same level. It is a horizontal form of restructuring that seeks to maximize versatility in the workplace while at the same time, reducing monotony.

It is also known as horizontal loading in the sense that it increases responsibilities at the same level and not vertically. Here’s your perfect guide to job enlargement!

A Brief Guide to Understanding Job Enlargement
Photo Credit: digitalhrtech.com

Importance of Job Enlargement

Job enlargement is among the work design methods, which help to identify an employee’s skills, duties, and responsibilities.

The employees do not perform just one job in a monotonous environment with increased responsibility and accountability, which can lead to boredom and reduced work efficiency.

Job enlargement makes the individual realize their increasing importance in the organization because of the increased scope of work being carried out.

Job enlargement requires the organization’s management to provide its assistance in providing the workers with sufficient training to allow them to adapt to the expanded scope of work.

Benefits of Job Enlargement

A job might appear interesting in the beginning, however, people sooner or later complain of boredom and monotony. If planned carefully, job enlargement can help reduce boredom and make it more satisfying and fulfilling for the employees.

There’s an extra number of tasks that a person performs. Thus, there is an increased scope for performing tasks that are versatile and yet, in some respects, very similar.

Since the individual has already accomplished the task in the past, there is no big requirement to impart new skills.

However, interventions in managing people and time may be required. Thus the job becomes more motivational for the one who performs it.

Job Enlargement vs. Job Enrichment

Quality and quantity are the distinctions between job enrichment and employment enlargement.

Jobs enrichment means change, or an increase with the aid of upgrading and growth, while job expansion means adding more duties and an increased workload.

An employee finds satisfaction with their work and personal growth opportunities through career enrichment, while role expansion refers to additional duties and responsibilities in an established career description.

Job enlargement is a mechanism used by employers to put the additional workload on workers, likely in economic downtimes. In spite of the fact that his duties and responsibilities have increased, an employee might feel lucky to have a job at all because of downsizing.

Another way is to have the potential for development and further flexibility by introducing further variety and broadening the responsibilities.

Example of a Job Enlargement

With the rise in robotization, the robots governed by the surgeon through a console, usually located in the corner of the operating room, perform an increasing amount of surgeries.

When this was implemented by a major US hospital, they found that having the surgeon in another part of the room, and not at the operating table, hindered communication. The surgeon has traditionally dictated the procedure and has given instructions.

Since the surgeon is now physically removed from the operating table, they lack a complete overview of what’s happening on and around the operating table. This means they need to replace part of their role with one of the operating assistants.

As a consequence, this assistant had to be educated in communication skills with the rest of the team and in carrying out different tasks which the surgeon would otherwise conduct. This is an excellent example of how automation and robotic engineering can lead to job enlargement.

A Brief Guide to Understanding Job Enlargement
Photo Credit: digitalhrtech.com


While job enlargement was generalized at a time when people were fed up with boring jobs at highly specialized assembly lines, the example above demonstrate that it is still an important subject in today’s digital world enlargement.

When more and more activities become automated or digitized, functions may inevitably diminish and become more specialized.

Employment enlargement is a good way to enrich certain workers by adding additional tasks to make them more varied.