Job enhancement and essential skills

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This tool will help employers and practitioners support the development of essential skills in the workplace through job enhancement. It explains how to increase employees' opportunities to improve their essential skills in the workplace and provides sample job enhancement activities.

What is job enhancement

Job enhancement is when an employee is given new responsibilities or tasks that give him/her the opportunity to develop his/her skills or abilities. For example, a cashier at a grocery store could be taught how to prepare the weekly work schedule. As a result, he/she could learn about scheduling and have the opportunity to use different work-related documents (for example, timesheets).

Why job enhancement

Job enhancement is an effective way to help employees improve their essential skills, and it doesn't require a lot of resources to be successful. It can:

Getting started

This checklist can help you determine if job enhancement is an appropriate way to support essential skills in your workplace. Indicate whether you agree or disagree with the following statements:

If you agree with any of the above statements, you should consider whether your workplace could benefit from job enhancement strategies.

Helpful tips

Job enhancement activities

The following activities are simple ways to improve essential skills through job enhancement. They are suggestions and can be tailored to meet the specific needs and goals of the employee.

This table contains job enhancement activities.
Essential skill An employee or group of employees may:
Reading • read applicant resumés and recommend potential candidates

• research and recommend new office software by reading consumer reports and trade journals
Document use • educate co-workers about various safety labels in the workplace

• review a monthly sales chart and brief co-workers on the results
Writing • develop a monthly newsletter for clients or co-workers

• prepare weekly memos to all employees
Numeracy • manage the petty cash account

• complete the year-end budget for the unit
Oral communication • take turns leading monthly staff meetings

• respond to telephone requests for information or assistance
Thinking • supervise a summer student for one week by assigning tasks and providing feedback to the student

• brainstorm and present ideas for improving a company policy
Working with others • become mentors or mentees

(see Mentoring and Essential Skills)

• act as the team's representative on the social committee
Computer use • maintain the company website for one week

• develop a new budget spreadsheet
Continuous learning • try new assignments in accordance with personal learning plans

• identify training sessions they are interested in attending
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