Job enlargement does not work, Job enrichment works.

By: Admin 16 July, 2019

Journey Back to School (JBTS), Dehradun brought many School Leaders and Principal together from all over India who shared their challenges and the most heard challenge was “how to motivate teachers”. During the workshop, speakers shared some proven methodologies which had been implemented on the ground level and contributed in the growth of the best schools.

Here, I would like to emphasize on the trouble-free steps which Principals can implement to motivate their teachers. Thomas and Velthouse (1990) gave the cognitive model of development which involves four factors: 

  • Impact: It is the degree to which one’s behaviour is perceived as to affect one’s task environment, that is, before allocating any task to your teachers consider their behaviour towards the task and their interest towards the responsibility given. Taking into account one’s behaviour will increase their efficiency in the tasks done. Also, it is crucial to let teachers observe the impact their efforts have made, to motivate them.
  • Competence: It refers to the degree to which individuals believe that they can perform task skilfully. If individuals have low self – efficacy, they try to avoid the task or to perform it with such less confidence which leads to pessimistic results. To avoid such circumstances the Principal can arrange for relevant teacher training program which will help building their competency levels. 
  • Meaningfulness: It concerns about the values of the task goals or purpose determined according to the individual’s capabilities. When the teacher performs a certain task and considers it meaningless, she/he will become apathetic and unrelated to significant events, so while suggesting a task to the teacher one should keep in mind  individual’s capabilities. 
  • Choices: It involve autonomy to the teacher. It may include individual’s pedagogical choice, use of resources or deciding when and what to teach. Furthermore, having a sense of choices will lead to greater flexibility, creativity, and self – regulation, while having little choices leads to feeling of being controlled, pressurised which may further leads to having negative emotions.


Apart from the above mentioned aspects, feedback is crucial for any process. Even after taking into account the four factors of the theory, teachers can evaluate the tasks accomplished on the basis of self evaluation and the feedback they had received. 

Maslow, in his theory of motivation, describes five stages. After basic psychological needs are satisfied, safety and security become the driving forces for teacher motivation. The third stage is social belongingness, a school system should provide good working conditions and human relations. Although the teacher often feels part of a faculty or subgroup, more often the sense of belonging is lacking as teachers look around their work environment. This need would be satisfied by giving the opportunity to join the teachers club, attending webinars and teacher training programs.

Even if the school can accomplish these first three stages, the best can be expected in terms of prevention of teacher dissatisfaction and enhancing their motivation. Further the stages talks about, recognition for a job which can act as an excellent motivator. However, it shouldn’t be  biased, that is, everyone should get recognition for their performance, along with relevant feedback. Schools districts use “teacher recognition days” where few teachers gives a vote of thanks, however the results aren’t the expected ones. Only a few teachers in certain categories gets rewarded either by awards or by promotion. An attempt to motivate hundreds of teachers in a school system by making only one “teacher of the year” award is a waste of time.

Source of picture: Jstor

Also, according to Maslow Motivation Model increased responsibilities for an enrichment, can be a motivating factor. School Boards should be very careful not to just increase the number of tasks in teachers hand. “Job enlargement does not work, job enrichment works” (Maslow).

Therefore, instead of increasing number of tasks for teachers, give them the autonomy to select what and how they want to do, along with appropriate feedback and monitoring. This may include choice of teaching materials, curriculum design, arranging their own classroom, methods to maintain discipline and using diverse teaching methods in the classroom. This will help in increasing motivational factor and thus, raising their performance level.