Monday, 3 february 2020 | Redacción CEU
Have you ever felt demotivated at work? Do you often dream about your dream job? Do you think that there are tasks in which you are the best, but to which you dedicate little time? Have you ever realized that you try to avoid a task with so much effort that you finally end up dedicating more time to it than to anything? These questions usually lead to the questioning of your job. Indeed, they may end up being the germ that leads you to abandoning it. Nonetheless, what if instead of resigning from your position, you "redesign" the job you have? Today, at the CEU IAM Blog, we explore the concept of "job crafting".
Although a company accurately defines the tasks that their employees must perform in certain positions, the goals that they should work towards and the path they have to follow to achieve them, the firm only has a limited capacity to influence the image that these workers have about their jobs. Professionals might share certain ideas, but each of them will conceive their work in a different way. Some will consider their jobs in the way that is expected. Meanwhile, others will understand that what might be normal for the rest can be truly motivational and inspirational for them. The latter is precisely what Amy Wrzesniewski, an American organizational psychologist, observed in the research that she conducted for years into the work of cleaning employees at a hospital. This study serves as a starting point to the concept that we know today as "job crafting".
The best way to understand what the essence of this new work approach is by giving an example. Lucia and Raquel work in the same clothing store. They share the same shifts, perform the same tasks and work on a rotating basis with the same employees. However, when they talk about their jobs, they do it in very different ways. For example, Lucia just describes the different tasks that she performs in her daily routine and the monthly objectives they must achieve. She explains that she is combining this job with her studies in marketing. When she finishes this course, she will try to find a job that fits more with her academic background. Raquel is also studying. She is about to finish a training course on pattern design. When she talks about her current position, she highlights that it involves helping clients to find what suits them best. This is the reason why she always tries to be aware of the latest trends. These are two workers with similar circumstances, but with different conceptions of their work.
As its name suggests, "job crafting" is a technique based on the "design", "elaboration" or "modification" of the job in such a way that motivations, strengths and passions can be incorporated into it. It is an approach that proposes visualizing the work, identifying the different elements and reorganizing them to better suit professionals. In other words, it is about adapting the characteristics of the job to fit the singularities of each employee. Thanks to this approach, among other things, professionals will be able to have greater control over their work, increase their level of satisfaction and optimize their work conditions. On top of that, they might end up playing new roles that adapt better to them.
To achieve this, this method takes into account three fundamental aspects that professionals must evaluate:
This is mainly an exercise in self-evaluation, since being effective requires a knowledge of the interests, preferences, abilities, weaknesses and abilities of the employees themselves. Despite this, it may also be beneficial for organizations. In fact, it can be fostered by them. Obviously, this means being willing to abandon an approach based on rigid patterns in the conception of work.
When companies opt for job crafting, they may find some advantages such as the increase in performance and productivity, the improvement of the work environment, the higher level of commitment and attachment and the talent retention and loyalty. The executives and managers who are responsible for implementing this approach should focus on aspects like the promotion of workers' autonomy, the support of their work, the development of professional career plans, the involvement of employees in the achievement of goals, the active listening and the exchange of impressions.
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