Enrich Work and Job Satisfaction – 6 Steps

How much effort does it take to enrich work and job satisfaction for the people in your company or, more importantly, for the people you lead?

Recently, I was talking to a person who asked what I did. I told him that I help companies build superior cultures with great leaders which ultimately creates a place where people enjoy working.

Enrich Work and Job Satisfaction

His response was, "Wouldn't that be nice, if it could be done." It was a skeptical and, actually, sad reply. It shows what most people experience in their work.

It can be done, but not by focusing on the things most people believe will enrich work and job satisfaction. In Frederich Herzberg's classic work, people focus on all the wrong things like money and benefits.

What does work are the 6 Job enriching principles. Below you will see the same 6 principles tied to the 4 needs each person has. When you meet those needs, job satisfaction is likely.

1. Give the Complete Process - (Need for Autonomy)
One key to enrich work and job satisfaction is give them responsibility for the whole process. That helps the need for autonomy or the exercise of freedom. It feeds the sense of ownership and even responsibility to know "this is mine and I can make choices about it." Of course, that can go too far and create problems.

Leaders fear doing that. And, it devalues the strengths of the people and increases the leader's need for control. So, do you see the end result of that behavior? It reduces freedom and autonomy. You certainly need to control at times, but if you want to get more done, develop self-governing individuals.

2 - Reduce / Remove Controls (Need for Autonomy)
What if you can't hand the entire process over to a person or team? Then try reducing the controls that are on the person or their work. Remember the "Freedom V?" That's a great tool to enrich work and job satisfaction through helping people perform at higher levels. There are needs for tighter control when a person is not performing or isn't experienced. But, the leader's job is to help them become more self-governing which provides more freedom and less control - moving up the Freedom V.

3 - Enable New Task Choice (Need for Challenge)
When you enable worker choice on new, more difficult tasks, you create a challenge that you can help them accomplish. Yes, some people do very well with repetition, but even they will seek some level of challenge or newness in their work. It is especially beneficial when not forced and is the person's choice. Those with a greater appetite for challenge will seek it. That requires more effort from you, the leader, to be thinking about how to help the organization, team and individual grow.

4 - Assign Specialized Tasks (Need for Challenge)
This will be particularly important to those people with more energy for details, like the Fact Finder energy that is identified with the Kolbe Index. Becoming an expert in anything supports the need for challenge and can easily support the need for competence also. 

This can be particularly effective for those who are less willing to ask for new work or challenges. Often, people are fearful of failure, so they do not volunteer for new things. That is where you as the leader help them, first by assigning it and second by helping them accomplish it. Then next time, you can let them do more on their own.

5 - Transmit Information Directly (Need for Competence)
Frederich Herzberg talks about how the "work itself" is a motivating factor. When you allow the work to provide direct feedback to the person, it aids the need for competence and enhances the worker's ability to make changes quicker. If you want to enrich work and job satisfaction, give information directly to the worker, not through you or the supervisor. You or the supervisor may also need the information for tracking their progress and encouraging self-governance, but make sure they get it at the same time or even first.

6 - Structure and Encourage Teamwork (Need for Relatedness or Belonging)
Finally, the need for belonging or relatedness is essential, even those that are less relational. Always, promote WE not ME thinking. That is what leadership is about and how groups and teams work best. Provide a clear link of their job to the Purpose of the organization. That can be difficult, but you can link the need for the job to the way the job supports other people and functions in the organization.

Start with just one of the above and see the difference it makes. You will be learning how to be a GR8 Leader!

Help Your Friends Too!