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Have You Heard of Job Crafting? It’s Impacting Your Culture and Employee Performance, and You May Not Even Know It

Improve Employee Wellbeing by Establishing a Culture of Engagement

In addition to making great products or offering superior service, most employers want to excite disengaged workers, attract top talent and retain those employees who are happy and productive on the job. Job Crafting, when employees create a more positive and purposeful job experience within their current position, is a successful technique that can empower employees and drive organizational goals for the company.

According to Gallup’s five pillars of wellbeing, which include purpose, social, financial, community, and physical wellbeing, one has the most potential impact. Purpose is cited as the key indicator of an employee’s overall sense of wellbeing. A sense of purpose is defined as liking what you do daily and feeling that it matters. Cornell University research also shows Purpose as helping to weather life’s ups and downs, or be resilient, which in recent years has proven to be invaluable to organizations.

For many, a sense of purpose is found through their job, but for some, it can be more challenging to find, which is where job crafting comes in. As a business solution, this can combat the Great Resignation by impacting employee retention, performance, culture, and morale.

What’s in it for the Employer?

Job crafting has real business implications. Job Crafting can motivate employees by allowing them to become “job entrepreneurs”, according to Harvard Business Review. Not only can re-framing reduce managerial demands, but it can boost job satisfaction, and re-energize employees who are feeling stagnant or unmotivated. Job crafting influences how employees perform their job, which tasks they complete and interactions at work, which in turn impacts both individual and organizational performance. A recent study published in BMC Psychology examined outcomes that led to improved levels of work engagement, reduced stress, and an increase in job crafting behavior. According to Forbes magazine, disengagement costs organizations between $450 and $550 billion annually due to massive productivity losses.

Seligman’s PERMA model speaks to the intersection of meaning and engagement (among others) to vitality and commitment within organizations, effectively predicting the ability for organizations to thrive. Many benefits are tied to improved engagement, including resiliency, loyalty to an employer, reduced absenteeism, and companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147 percent in earnings per share.

What Does Job Crafting Look Like in the Workplace?

Job crafting happens all the time, both formally and informally. It can mean adding new tasks that the employee enjoys, becoming involved in a team or event, or working to understand the impact of their role within the company. There are many ways to explore job crafting with your employees, and you can incorporate certain exercises as part of a management training or employee seminar. Surveys such as the Via 24 can identify character strengths and values and can help employees clearly define how those are connected to their jobs. To effectively manage job crafting, it needs to align with both the employee's and the company’s goals. For successful job crafting, all seniority levels of the organization need to support and embrace the practice.

Are You Looking to Educate Employees on Job Crafting?

When considering incorporating job crafting, consider the three areas where employees can focus:

  1. Task crafting: Making the day-to-day experience purposeful by incorporating tasks or adjusting how tasks are performed to focus on strengths and areas of enjoyment, within the current job description.
  2. Relationship crafting: Focusing on interpersonal relationships with co-workers and cross-team exposure.
  3. Perception crafting: Re-framing and/or expanding their view of their role in the company.

Additionally, remember to communicate the value to leadership teams. Offer dedicated time for training and exercises to assist employees in mapping out pre and post-job functions, as well as employee strengths and interests (workbook and resources here).

Below are useful examples as a starting point:

  • A hospital organization empowers a maintenance team to expand relationships with patients or visitors. The team’s formal job description doesn’t include customer service, but they now view their expanded role as a vital to the patient experience.
  • A non-profit manager who re-imagines his job as two separate roles, one that isn’t very enjoyable, soliciting grants and donors, and one that has great meaning by creating opportunities for mental health support for families.

In today’s complex business environment, Job Crafting offers unlimited (and inexpensive) opportunities for employers looking to shape their workplaces with supportive, positive and meaningful cultural solutions.

For more ways to craft a thriving workforce, read: OneDigital's Workforce Insights Guide.