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How lack of Responsibility Growth Affects Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is becoming even more important in Japan in recent years, as professionals today are offered a wide variety of opportunities and job change is on the rise.

Because of this, Apex recently conducted a Job Satisfaction survey and published our Job Satisfaction in Japan's Healthcare Industry report. We were interested to find that 94% of people across the areas in healthcare we surveyed (biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, hospitals, medical device) wanted more responsibility in their role.

94 percent of professionals surveyed in healthcare want more responsibility

When we say ‘more responsibility’, it can mean different things to different professionals. To some, wanting more job responsibility includes managing a team, whereas others may have no interest in people management but instead want larger projects or to communicate more with the global team.

So then, what does this mean? What does job responsibility look like; and how do professionals know if they will be able to get it from their current employer? Of the 94% of survey respondents who said they would like more responsibility, only 50% said job responsibility would be a top job change motivation. 


Job responsibility can look different depending on the size of the company and department. These are some of the themes we can see across a range of areas in healthcare:

Large companies can be more bureaucratic and therefore can limit employee autonomy, but may facilitate more specialization in a particular area. As well, due to the size, they can offer more long term progression opportunities for professionals.

Smaller companies tend to allow people to work more cross-functionally and have a wider variety in responsibilities. People in a smaller company may also be held more accountable to their responsibilities. Individuals can have more of an impact on the operations of the business in a small company, so employees share more in the successes, and the failures.

It is important to recognize these differences in large and small companies, and for professionals to look at the opportunities objectively when considering a new role.


If employees don’t feel their responsibilities are growing as their capabilities do, one of two things will happen; some employees will begin to feel undervalued and unmotivated in their position, leading to a decrease in productivity, other employees who remain motivated may move to another company that offers them growth opportunities. HR teams will see that their company will start experiencing high turnover.

It is important that HR tries to recognize within employees who would be interested in having higher responsibility within their position. It is significantly less expensive to give more responsibility to an employee already in the company than to look externally for more hires. Even if this means spending money to train employees internally, it could be hugely beneficial when we consider that 94% of employees want more responsibility.

Sometimes it is not possible to promote people simply because the position above them is not moving. It is important to remember there is still area for growth here. HR should consider how they could help these employees grow their skills for the future, or potentially even move laterally within the company. A change in responsibility can motivate an employee just as much as growth can.


At some point or another, many professionals start to hit a growth ceiling. This is when their responsibilities are no longer growing with their capabilities, and their position is becoming stagnant. This can be made even worse now that people are retiring later, making growth opportunities for younger employees more difficult. Not only can this be demotivating to the professional, but also decreases their value to a new company if they are unable to have shown steady career progression in the past.


As stated previously, job responsibility growth means different things to different people. Because of this, it is vital that professionals have a thorough understanding of their personal job satisfaction motivators, and whether or not their current company is going to be able to offer those things. Of the 94% of healthcare professionals who want more responsibility, are they of the 50% who would actually move for it? If they are, a professional should first consider having a conversation with their superiors to discuss why their progression has stalled, and perhaps what they can do to grow in their position.

If it is unlikely that there will be any opportunities for future job responsibility growth, it could be time to consider a new company which will offer those things. Using a source that understands which companies are offering job responsibility growth that is right for them can help make the process go smoothly. Finally, if they are applying to a new company, a professional needs to make sure they are very clear on the opportunities for growth within the new position. Some of the best career moves involve going to a smaller company, or moving to a larger company with a less senior title. When considering job change, job seekers need to be clear with what are their top motivating factors whether it be more responsibility, work-life balance, or salary, and look for opportunities that match what they are looking for.

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