Why Job Crafting?
The future of success and professional satisfaction lies in job personalization.
Do you imagine being able to redefine your main responsibilities, roles and interactions at work based on what you really value, need or interests you?
This is Job Crafting.
And it’s not a new concept. Not at all!
I first heard about this term a year ago in a HR class of an online MBA I was finishing. And what really surprised me to know months later, preparing this post, is that the term Job Crafting was first used by Amy Wrzesniewski and Jane Dutton, more than 20 years ago.
Since then, dozens of published studies and articles on multiple websites and specialized magazines continue to investigate and report on this way of understanding differently not only the relationship between each of us and our job, but above all, the relationship between the worker and the company where he/she works.
¿Qué es el Job Crafting?
Job Crafting literally means “doing the job”. But to understand it better, we translate it as the “redefinition or adaptation of the job role”.
Its creators, Amy Wrzesniewski and Jane Dutton, pointed out the following:
“We define Job Crafting as the physical and cognitive changes individuals make in the task or relational boundaries of their work”
In practice, Job Crafting is a way to redefine your job role’s characteristics to increase your satisfaction and your personal and professional well-being, while you maximize your performance and get the best results for you and your company.
If at some point in your career you were not satisfied with how things were going, you may have thought or even decided to change company or position, or even to start your own project.
They are all valid options! But why not add Job Crafting to that list of possibilities?
You might like the company you work in or the team you’re in, or the role you play may fulfill you. Or perhaps, simply, the current economic situation doesn’t allow you to take risks and take the plunge without knowing if there is a security net underneath or not.
Job Crafting is certainly a very good option in order to improve your motivation and performance without changing jobs.
Ways to implement Job Crafting.
We typically define a job as the set of roles or tasks that need to be done under that particular role. These roles or tasks imply the basic relationship between the worker and their company.
Redefining your job role involves redefine:
- The scope of your tasks, either in terms of their number or type to be carried out, or in terms of their meaning.
- Interpersonal relationships that are created or maintained as a part of this.
Therefore, there are 3 levels upon which you can act in your job to implement Job Crafting:
- Tasks Level: Change your work boundaries by taking on more or less tasks, extending or reducing their scope, or changing the way they are done.
A senior IT consultant could, for example, collaborate with HR by designing appropriate training plans at each level if he/she likes to become involved and influence other colleagues and company workers’ career development opportunities.
- Relationship Level: Change the way you interact with others in your workplace or create new relationships.
For example, a Sales department manager might organize regular meetings with other members from Product Development, Marketing, or Customer Support so that their work is understood as an interrelated whole, where every part is important for the overall success of each of them and the company in general.
- Purpose Level or the meaning your job has for you: Reflect on why the work you perform is important to you and what impact it has or can have on others.
In their study about hospital cleaning staff, Amy Wrzesniewski and Jane Dutton saw that some workers considered their work as part of the patient care team, and decided to help however they could to achieve a more pleasant environment: adjust a picture hanging on the room’s wall, take them a glass of water or spend more time interacting with them and their visitors.
It is important to note that the possibilities of implementing Job Crafting depend on your situation and your company’s situation at that moment. One or more forms of implementation can be possible at different times.
Benefits for employees.
As an employee, Job Crafting gives you the opportunity to turn the job you have into the job you’d like to have without the risk of losing things you like or need in your daily routine.
Some of the benefits Job Crafting has for you as an employee are:
- Increase your motivation at a personal and professional level, since your job performance is directly linked to the positive image you have of the tasks you spend most of your time on and, therefore, to the image you have of yourself.
- Greater commitment and satisfaction with your work, which reflects not only in its quality, but also in the quality of the interpersonal relationships you establish with people around you.
- Increase the sense of control over the impact and meaning of your work, as opposed to the feeling of being, in a certain way, forced to do what others want you to do and the way they want you to do it.
As a consequence of all the above, Job Crafting will allow you to improve your job performance and, therefore, the results obtained.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”Steve Jobs
Benefits for the company.
As an employer or even as a company manager, Job Crafting can also report significant benefits.
In a labor market such as the Spanish one, where the capacity to attract and retain talent in companies is increasingly compromised by competition from the international market and the difficulty of offering high salaries, Job Crafting can become a fundamental part of what we call “emotional salary”.
The different ways to implement a Job Crafting strategy, depending on the type of company and its situation, can report these benefits:
- Lower staff turnover rate and greater capacity to attract and retain talent, due to employee’s high satisfaction and bonding with the company.
- Minimum resources required for its implementation, both in cost and in time, since the employees themselves, in accordance with their managers and person in charge, are responsible for executing the Job Crafting strategy.
- Company’s performance and results improvement, due to employee’s motivation and performance improvement, and a better quality in interpersonal relationships between employees, teams and/or departments.
- Flexible strategy with great ease and level of adaptation to current VUCA environments, since each employee has countless possibilities to implement their own strategy or Job Crafting strategies.
How to successfully implement a Job Crafting strategy?
As a worker, your Job Crafting strategy will succeed if the changes you implement at a task, relationship, or meaning level are aligned with:
- Your own values, interests and strengths, and therefore translate into an increase in your satisfaction, motivation and performance.
- Your company’s goals or, if it applies, your line manager or department.
As a company, a Job Crafting strategy will succeed if your actions indirectly affect the way each employee implements their own Job Crafting strategy:
- For example, business executives and line managers can define recognition and compensation policies that fully encourage or discourage employees from implementing Job Crafting strategies.
- In addition, both at organizational and team levels, executives and managers can organize the work in a way that facilitates or hinders the implementation of these strategies.
- Finally, internal communication and transparency policies at an organizational level in terms of goals, strategies and road map will also have a great impact on the success or not of any Job Crafting strategy.
Do you want to increase your motivation and performance at work through Job Crafting?
Analyze your values, interests and strengths and find as many ways as possible to redefine your job role at a task, relationship or meaning level to satisfy them.
Communicate openly with your line managers, colleagues and any other team member. Inform them of your intention, and tell them how, when and why you would like to make those changes.
Not everything is possible at any time and under any circumstances. Keep your mind open, be flexible and ready to always adapt your Job Crafting strategy to your company or manager’s needs and goals.
Try it and let me know what you get or what problems you encounter.
Thank you and see you soon,
PS: 20 years of Job Crafting studies and publications is a lot, and we will certainly continue discussing this topic soon. In the meantime, if you liked this entry and want to know more, we recommend this Harvard Business Review article or this one from Euroforum (in Spanish). I also encourage you to get in touch and ask or share with us anything you want on this topic. We’ll be thrilled to know about you, answer your questions and tell you everything you want to know!