An engaged, active workforce is one of the greatest assets an organization can hope to have. The reasons why are clear. Case in point — an engaged worker may be up to 125 percent more productive than a disengaged, uninspired employee. As a result, company profits get a boost. Organizations with highly engaged workforces have profits that can be 23 percent higher than businesses without. It’s a chain reaction.
But let’s start from the beginning. How do you engage and inspire employees? The answer is quite simple.
Give them what they want.
What’s not so simple is getting a clear understanding of what it is that they actually want.
That’s where job crafting comes into play. Collaborating with your employees to create a more satisfying job experience is a modern approach that boosts employee engagement within your organization and more. Let’s talk about it.
What is job crafting?
Job crafting is a proactive process wherein employees can redesign aspects of their existing role to better fit their experience, strengths and personality. Job crafting empowers employees to define their own titles, precise responsibilities and role within a team. Employees may either do this unsupervised or collaborate with human resources (HR) leadership and their managers to ensure that their modifications remain aligned with the needs and objectives of the team and organization as a whole.
Distinct from job design, job crafting is not ground-up job creation, but rather a transformation of a current position that makes it more satisfying and engaging for the individual.
Workers may craft different aspects of their job depending on the precise nature of their wants and needs surrounding their role. It may include changes to the structure of the role itself, or adjacent factors.
Here are a few examples of job crafting:
- Task changes: This might mean making changes to the actual responsibilities an employee holds within a role, or simply changing how they prioritize those responsibilities.
- Skills development: Employees may earn new credentials or gain new competencies to expand the scope of their job.
- Relationship cultivation: This can involve building professional relationships with people outside of an employee’s immediate team and expanding their network to seek out external mentors.
Benefits of job crafting
By personalizing and designing aspects of their roles, employees and employers gain important benefits through job crafting. Improved employee engagement, greater productivity and higher company profits were mentioned above. But there’s more.
Job crafting also:
- Empowers employees
HR leaders can empower their employees by making job crafting an explicit practice within the workplace. Employees should feel welcome and encouraged to create a professional experience that supports and engages them, and this can be enabled with a well-thought-out job crafting process.The process of job crafting is something many people may already do – sometimes on purpose, sometimes without even realizing it. For example, in many situations employees are given titles with predefined roles and responsibilities that do not leverage individual strengths or align with goals. So, micro-adjustments are unconsciously made within jobs that help make them a better fit.
- Supports L&D and engagement
Job crafting practices can be seamlessly integrated into and strengthen your learning and development (L&D) strategy. For example, new skills gained through L&D can be implemented into a current role to shape the scope of that position and support further employee development.Additionally, if you have an existing workforce education program, employees can expand their skills as well as seek additional credentials to change career paths or advance their position. Delivering L&D opportunities through job crafting practices also boosts employee engagement. L&D opportunities for growth, both personal and professional, help 80 percent of employees to feel more engaged at work, and like they’re getting more out of their job than just a paycheck.
- Boosts higher job satisfaction and employee retention
The idea behind job crafting is to encourage employees to have more influence on designing their roles and responsibilities, ideally leading to more committed employees who are happier with their jobs. The Great Resignation has shown that providing your employees with what they want and need is more important than ever in today’s landscape. Job crafting enables HR leaders to collaborate with employees and craft their dream job within an existing role, for the benefit of both the individual and organization.
Steps to implement job crafting at your organization
Here are a few steps you can take to engage in job crafting successfully at your organization:
- Create explicit job crafting opportunities
Take stock of the job crafting resources you have in place. This will include educational resources, training resources, processes for redefining roles and titles within the organization. Make sure that employees understand all of the resources that are available and know where to access them.
- Engage people managers to act as ambassadors
Train managers on how to speak to job crafting, how to assist in job crafting and how to encourage their direct reports to take advantage of it.
- Define success metrics
Understand what a successful implementation of job crafting looks like at different levels. This might include better retention rates, improved productivity or simply higher scores on employee satisfaction surveys.
- Check in often
Most L&D practices have to be ongoing in order to deliver optimal results, job crafting is no different. Encourage management to incorporate talking about job crafting with their employees as part of regular check-ins and evaluations.
The potential of job crafting is powerful. It provides an accessible, proactive and invaluable way for employees to directly integrate new skill sets, credentials and competencies into their jobs.
Furthermore, job crafting helps to drive meaningful impact that aligns with organizational goals and demonstrates a company’s commitment to harnessing the diverse strengths and talents of its most valuable resource — its people.
Job crafting is one way to encourage employees to take advantage of your skill building programs. Download this step-by-step guide to unlock additional strategies for how to fast-track skills development among your workforce.