What is Job Enlargement? – Definition, Advantages and Disadvantages

The daunting task of job hunting doesn’t stop at job application and interviews. It involves tasks beyond our imagination, tasks we would have never imagined to do and they are equally tiresome as job application procedure, even at times more than it.

There are terms and a processes we need to know about before embarking upon your professional journey. Today, we will be discussing one such term, called ‘job enlargement’. It is a common term used in corporate sector, amongst employees, potential employees and employers. But, for a new comer, the term might sound unfamiliar and new. If you find yourself alien to the new corporate lingo which makes you feel left out, you have come to the right place. We will tell you everything that one needs to about regarding job enlargement.

What is Job Enlargement?

Put in simple words, job enlargement is a process by which a company can expand the roles of a particular designation or employee working at a certain level.  The scope of one’s duty or the tasks associated with one designation enlarges leading to increased working role of the employee hired for that particular role.

It belong to the horizontal restructuring of the organization, talking in professional languages which shifts and changes one’s role only at a horizontal level. This means that the job enlargement procedure cannot combine jobs of a hierarchically superior employee and inferior employee. The tasks being shuffled should only concern the designations that belong to similar organizational layer.

Job enlargement helps the company in cutting costs. It usually resorted to if the organization is facing serious budget constraints, shortage of employees or any extraordinary circumstance similar to COVID 19 pandemic in which work from home and job cuts forced many companies to opt for job enlargement of many employees.

It goes against the notion of ‘departmentalization’ or ‘special division of labor based on skills’. It can also influence the quality of product and services the company is trying to deliver since the special skilled division of labor notion is disturbed here. It can lead to considerable organization restructuring of companies which are small in size and employee small number of people.

Job Enlargement Advantages

Job enlargement adds the number of role performed by an employee at one particular designation. It makes the role diverse and breaks down the monotony associated with corporate jobs.

The monotony when removed can increase one’s productivity since people are performing different roles and are involved in end to end process of production. Their knowledge and experience also grows in a holistic way when engaged in end to end process.

Experience and on-ground realities of problems as well as solutions derived after encountering them can help the employee in broaden their area of interest or specialization. They can learn about scopes and opportunities in different fields which may motivate them in pursuing professional courses in inter related fields.

The exposure to different fields and different problems can help the employees in career advancement as they gain experience as well as expertise.

Adding onto the professional experience, employees are often offered higher salary than before job enlargement since their roles have gotten expanded and diverse. One might see a considerable rise in salary if company is generous.

Accountability and autonomy comes with diversification of roles. Not only one feels responsible for the role but also a sense of collectivity starts emerging which makes the employee focus on the entire team, cooperation and coordination between tasks to deliver a good quality end product.

Job Enlargement Disadvantages

Often times, employees may encounter a role which they might be uninterested in working as. This may lead to decreased efficiency. The overall productivity of a team also declines since the tasks overlap and there occurs a delay in delivering the product/service.

There are increased chances of miscommunication and lack of coordination which may hamper the quality of product.

In addition to it, employees may face increased work load. There are also chances of unequal distribution of work amongst employees which can lead to professional bias.

Job enlargement as initiative has its own advantages and disadvantages. Both employers and employee needs to be mindful of the cost and benefits and negotiate accordingly to promote and healthy work environment.

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