Employee Experience

Why Do You Need Horizontal Job Loading?

4 Mins read

Horizontal job loading is one of the most well-known methods to enhance flexibility. With this article, we will define horizontal job loading or(also known as job enlargement), discuss its advantages and disadvantages, will demonstrate its significance in today’s fast-paced world.

But wait, what does horizontal job loading mean and why does your company need it?

job enlargement

A horizontal job loading is characterized as adding more activities to an existing role at the same level. This signifies that a person’s current job will include more and varied activities. For example, the worker will now handle her own planning rather than counting on her manager to do it.
Along with work enrichment, job rotation, and job simplification, job enlargement is a significant method in workforce planning.

Horizontal job loading vs vertical job loading: what’s the difference?

Horizontal job loading or job enlargement is often confused with vertical job loading or job enrichment. There is, obviously, a significant difference. Horizontal loading is the process of expanding one’s job in terms of making it more enjoyable.
Vertical loading is the technique of adding motivating factors to existing positions. This shows that horizontal job loading is a type of vertical job loading, although not all horizontal loading activities qualify as vertical loading. 

Here are the reasons why horizontal job loading isn’t the same as vertical job loading:

  • Job enlargement is defined as a growth in job responsibility through broadening the scope of the job.  In contrast to vertical loading, which increases the degree of control, this method concentrates on applying additional obligations to the job without enhancing autonomy or control.
  • Horizontal job loading allows a worker to perform more, engage in a larger number of activities, broaden their skills and experience, and raise their earning potential.

What are the main advantages of horizontal loading?

horizontal job loading

Although work may appear engaging at first, people eventually complain of boredom and repeating the routine. Job enlargement can help eliminate monotony and make work more enjoyable and rewarding for people if it is properly planned.

Expanding the number of highly specialized fields has various benefits:

  • Increases the number of activities available. Adding duties to existing roles is the basic point of job enlargement. As a result, the job becomes much more diverse, with a broader range of activities.
  • Reduces monotony. Monotony is decreased as a result of the expanded range of activities. Employees  do not undertake the same highly specialized tasks during all the working hours. In this case they are more involved from start to finish, managing an automated production line or carrying a single product through many production processes.
  • Provides a range of skills and abilities while also assisting with professional growth. Expanded job responsibilities require additional information and coaching in getting skills and experience. This gives employees new skills and helps them succeed.
  • Higher income. Increasing a role’s duties typically leads in higher pay. The workforce receives a specific benefit in the form of higher salary.
  • Provides more autonomy, accountability, and responsibility. As a result, a number of motivational aspects develop. Since the person is in charge of numerous related activities, he/she has greater control over how they do their responsibilities, resulting in more autonomy. Furthermore, they are more responsible for errors and delivery performance because they have more engagement with a particular product or service, which gives them a greater sense of ownership and accountability.

To summarize, horizontal job loading can provide greater variety for employees, give them more control over their work, and make employment a more positive experience.

After counting above mentioned advantages of job enlargement, let’s face the fact that this method also has a number of inconveniences.

What are the disadvantages?

Horizontal loading also has a number of disadvantages:

  • Reduced effectiveness. Job enlargement makes employees less concentrated, which leads to a lower level of specialization. Simple terms, if you do the same thing every day, you’ll get very proficient at it. As a result, horizontal job loading lowers efficiency.
  • Poor quality. Enlargement, has the potential to degrade quality. This, however, is not without controversy. Boredom can occur when you do the same thing on a daily basis. You also don’t feel any responsibility for the entire thing if you’re only accountable for a little element of it. Employees lack a complete understanding of the product, resulting in a lack of ownership and commitment to improve.
  • Job creep. It’s a real problem that many people face. As new responsibilities are added to a position, job creep occurs, leading to an increase in workload. The work may seem unreasonable and overwhelming as a consequence of this. When a job is constantly expanded, it can lead to stress and burnout.
  • Increased costs and levels of training. Because horizontal loading entails new activities and responsibilities that the employee did not previously have, it usually demands an expansion in levels of training and costs.   Furthermore, it will take some time for the individual to acquire his or her peak productivity.

    As we saw, that horizontal job loading has both benefits and drawbacks. As a result, each situation should be evaluated separately to determine whether or the enlargement is appropriate or not. This will be decided by the job’s specific situations. It is also recommended that managers engage with experts such as a Hr consultant or a quality management specialist to evaluate whether job enlargement is appropriate for the work environment or employees.
job enrichment


Whilst horizontal job loading gained popularity at a period when people were fed up with monotonous labor on specialized production lines, real-life examples show us that it is still a relevant topic in today’s digitalized environment. Roles will inevitably decrease and become even more specific as an increasing amount of jobs are being automated or digitized. Job enlargement is a smart method to diversify these positions by adding more responsibilities.

If you enjoyed this article and are ready to implement this method in your work environment, share it with your friends and colleagues and let us know what you think about it!

Further Reading

HRIS Requirements Checklist

How to Run a Step Challenge

How to Handle Toxic Employees

Employee to Employer Relationship

Fombrun Model of HRM

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