The global work environment is topsy turvy. While some of us have seamlessly adapted to remote or blended ways of working, others have found it a more difficult transition. Have you been re-deployed? Are you working longer hours, with no clear boundary between work and home-life? Disruptions like these may negatively affect our wellbeing.
The good news is that we can have agency over the quality of our work life by exercising some simple strategies that will help us bring our best selves to work. Job crafting describes the way we actively shape our jobs to meet our needs, values, and beliefs – in other words, the way we find meaning in our work. Generally, we are motivated to job craft by a desire to create a stronger identity or deeper human connection that will improve our sense of wellbeing. And it doesn’t necessarily entail major or costly changes.
There are four core ways to job craft:
- Task crafting involves the parameters and sequence of our daily tasks. It may be that we reprioritise or trade tasks to leverage our strengths and interests.
- Relational crafting involves who we interact with at work. There may be many collaborative opportunities we could pursue within our organisation that would offer opportunities to be innovative and increase our job satisfaction.
- Cognitive crafting relates to the way we frame and interpret our roles and tasks. The attitude we take can be a powerful and self-sustaining factor.
- Wellbeing crafting, which essentially means finding ways to ensure that we stay both mentally and physically healthy.
These forms of job crafting can be demonstrated in Laura’s story:
Laura has a passion for working with children, but in her job as a Disaster Relief Officer in a large council jurisdiction, she only deals with adults. She reframes the way she thinks about her role as working to keep whole families safe (cognitive). This reframing opens her mind to a partnering opportunity with one of the council’s librarians (relational) to bring resources and information to children on how to respond and manage their emotions during times of natural disaster. Together they set up an open day for families, and rollout an ongoing program (task) in local schools. The satisfaction the program brings Laura, revives her energy levels and the contact with children inspires her to write a children’s picture book. Her overall sense of wellbeing elevates.
By job crafting our own roles, research shows we are likely to not only increase job satisfaction but improve performance and wellbeing. And by enabling others in our team to follow their passions and interests as much as possible at work, we will see a much higher level of engagement from our entire workforce.
Natalie Richardson is a principal consultant with Performance Frontiers, co-creating positive transformation with leaders and teams in the workplace and beyond. With qualifications in Applied Positive Psychology, Adult Education and Design, and over 20 years’ experience in human resources, adult learning and organisational development, Natalie offers a unique lens into the tipping points of human, cultural and systemic change. You can read further insights from Natalie on Performance Frontiers’ website, as a regular contributor in Training and Development Magazine, or contact her directly on Linkedin.
“Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home… it’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.”
― Chuck Palahniuk