The following post is an excerpt from a paper I wrote about training and advancement issues. This addresses how to create internal opportunity through job enrichment and communication.

Creating Opportunity

“To create more opportunities for employees to advance it would be possible to move laterally within the company, however, this presents issues of KSA (knowledge, skills, abilities) compatibility. The unique KSA’s of a brewery production worker do not easily translate into a job in the sales department, marketing department, or administration and employees may not be interested in these types of jobs. Also, employee motivation is a factor since brewers tend to be intrinsically motivated. According to Johnson, intrinsic motivation can be external in nature such as work-life balance or internal as in how an employee enjoys their job and associated tasks (2005). Some veteran brewer’s describe the reason brewers do their work as a passion, which may be because they can readily identify their part in creating the product since they experience the progression of beer produced from raw materials to the glass. So, with advancement opportunities for production workers often being limited, another method to obtain employee satisfaction may be met by implementing job enrichment.

Greenburg describes job enrichment as performing additional tasks, including tasks requiring increased knowledge, skills, and accountability (2010). Job enlargement was ruled out as a method due to it being deemed more of a short term fix since job enlargement focuses on completing more of the same tasks, which does not include increased responsibility (Greenburg, 2010). Special care would need to be taken in redesigning jobs to be enriching to ensure job tasks were aligned with company and departmental strategies, which can have the added benefit of enhancing employee performance (Garg and Rastogi, 2006). Also important to job enrichment is a channel for employees to provide feedback about job enrichment.

Thomas, Wells, & Willard discussed a program endorsed by British Petrol Exploration (BPX) utilizing upward feedback to promote communication between employees and managers, promote team work, and as an added benefit help managers enhance their management skills (1992). The first year of the upward feedback program at BPX was so successful that the company increased the amount of staff participation in the second year (Thomas, Wells, & Willard, 1992). So, this would be another instrument besides surveys to obtain valuable information from employees to monitor satisfaction levels concerning not only job enrichment, but other business related issues as well.

Some examples of how job enrichment for production workers could be achieved would be through the formation of teams or assignment of individuals to perform functions such as interviewing, safety, preventative maintenance system management, and production planning. These types of tasks would increase responsibility and potentially make the job more interesting. Also, production workers could take part in marketing activities where interaction with the public is needed and is generally well received and expected by customers of the brewing industry. “