Wouldn’t it be great if, soon after you start your new job, you have a think as to how you could change it so it is more enjoyable, and then just change it? You would basically craft your job to increase your job satisfaction, engagement, resilience, and sense of thriving at work.
It would certainly be great. And not just for you. Organisations that support job crafting have more engaged employees, because these people have redesigned their jobs to focus on what they enjoy doing, or how they like doing things. So, for example, the engineer who is passionate about creativity starts exploring different ways of doing the job, so as to increase efficiency.
There are three main ways to craft jobs: a) Altering task boundaries: doing more or fewer tasks, or doing them differently; b) Altering relationships, e.g. resdesigning the job to increase or decrease interactions with colleagues or clients; and, c) Changing perception, e.g. an administrator who is considering retraining as a counsellor could see his job as a way to help colleagues when they are struggling.
The organisation does not just benefit because employees are more engaged, but also because, through job crafting, employees may develop better and more efficient processes; thus indirectly increasing the company’s profitability.
Of course managers need to manage their teams, including how job crafting is done. Otherwise the above-mentioned engineer could design all kinds of wild and wonderful new processes, none of which actually enhance the team’s productivity. Thus managers, need to foster a culture that job crafting is fine as long as it aligns with the organisational goals. They also need to ensure that important tasks are still getting done, even if nobody is particularly keen on them.
So if job crafting has so many benefits, how can we support it? Autonomy is key. Employees who are micromanaged will not have the headspace to consider doing things differently. Staff need to be confident that they can make decisions as to how to do their job, and that this individuality is actually encouraged.
And job crafting is not a process that is done once. Sarah might craft her job in a certain way today, because these are her current psychological needs (e.g. to interact with others), values, and preferences. Come next year, Sarah will have changed, and therefore her relationship with her job-role will also change. She might thus tweak her job again. And this is absolutely fine. As long as employees are supported to work towards organisational goals (See previous post about a coherent narrative), and managers ensure that key tasks are still being completed to a high standard, then regular job crafting will continue to benefit the organisation.
If you would like to know about the benefits of job crafting and how to work towards this, give us a call on 0161 8187 131, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Wrzesniewski, A., & Dutton, J. E. (2001). Crafting a job: Revisioning employees as active crafters of their work. Academy of Management Review, 26, 179–201.