The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the world of work, and organizations everywhere are having to adapt to this new reality. In order to ensure employee retention and optimize productivity and engagement, job crafting is becoming increasingly important in the post-pandemic world.
Job crafting is the process of allowing employees to adjust their job to better suit their skills and interests, while also aligning with the overall goals of the organization. By taking a proactive approach to job crafting, organizations can ensure that their employees remain engaged and motivated, resulting in increased productivity and reduced turnover.
What is job crafting?
Job crafting is a term used to describe the practice of employees taking ownership of their roles, and actively reshaping their job duties to better fit their strengths and interests. It involves employees identifying components of their job that they can adjust, add, or eliminate to make their role more meaningful and impactful, but also fit their life better.
Job crafting isn’t a new concept. Companies have always been willing to tailor jobs for sought-after senior executives and skilled workers in very high demand. If a company really wants an employee to work for them, they have worked together with those candidates to design their role in a way that works as a win-win-win for them, their families, and the company who wants to hire them.
Now, it’s becoming more widespread as companies realize that many roles can be crafted to suit the needs of their workforce, and improves the experience for both employees and employers.
Historically, job crafting has been more focused on tasks and role design, but not surprisingly, following years of remote work, job crafting now often includes designing a work schedule that works for both the employee and the company. Job crafting can be done through active planning, problem-solving, and collaboration with peers and managers.
“Common modifications include giving employees greater control over their schedules, alleviating them from routine or administrative tasks, providing better physical working conditions, letting them choose their work location, and doing more creative design and instructional work and less repetitive production work,” says Steve Hunt, chief expert at SAP, in his book Talent Tectonics.
At its core, job crafting is about making sure that the tasks, responsibilities, and timing of a job align with the needs, interests, and goals of an employee. This can include tasks related to problem-solving, decision-making, or mentorship, as well as simply doing what’s needed to achieve the organization’s objectives.
By taking ownership of their role and reshaping it to best fit their skills and capabilities, employees can gain a sense of purpose, satisfaction, and engagement with their work.
Job crafting has been gaining traction in recent years as organizations look for ways to improve job satisfaction and employee engagement.
Job crafting also helps companies that are looking to build the right hybrid environment for their employees. In the current post-pandemic environment, job crafting can play a key role in helping organizations retain employees, improve morale, and foster greater productivity.
The benefits of job crafting
Job crafting can have a positive impact on employee morale, engagement, and productivity. When employees are given the freedom to craft their own jobs, they have greater autonomy, ownership, and control over their work and workday. This can lead to higher job satisfaction and engagement, which in turn leads to increased productivity.
Additionally, job crafting allows employees to tailor their jobs to their strengths and interests, providing them with opportunities for personal growth and development. Job crafting can also help employers create an environment of trust and respect that increases employee loyalty and commitment.
Not only does job crafting help improve individual employee performance, it can also have a positive effect on the overall organization. By enabling employees to customize their roles, employers can create a more cohesive, aligned team that is better equipped to meet organizational goals. Furthermore, allowing employees to take ownership of their jobs can help cultivate an innovative and creative culture that encourages new ideas and collaboration.
Job crafting has also been shown to increase workforce diversity, since part of job crafting can be to accommodate disabilities, conditions such as ADHD, or needing to change their schedule to take care of a child or aging parent. However, it is important, says Steve Hunt, that it “be done in a way that ensures equity of treatment across employees.”
Finally, job crafting is a cost-effective way to retain employees. Since employees are less likely to leave when they feel listened to, respected, and fulfilled in their positions, organizations can avoid the costly process of hiring and training new staff. Additionally, since job crafting allows employees to adjust their role to their strengths and preferences, they are often more motivated and productive, leading to higher overall performance.
How to implement job crafting in your organization
Job crafting is an important tool to help retain employees and improve morale, engagement, and productivity in a post-pandemic world. But how do you implement job crafting in your organization?
The first step is to create an open dialogue with your employees so they understand the various ways they can craft their jobs to suit their needs, skills and interests. Where appropriate, you can even ask them to brainstorm ways they could increase their engagement and productivity by rearranging their roles and responsibilities.
Once you have identified potential changes, it’s important to make sure the new job definition is aligned with company objectives. This ensures that the job crafting process is beneficial for both the employee and the company. It’s also important to consider the impact that these changes might have on other team members.
Another key factor to consider when implementing job crafting is ensuring that the new job definition still meets the requirements of the position and is feasible within the organization’s budget and resources.
Finally, it’s important to provide ongoing support to your employees during the job crafting process. This could include regular check-ins, feedback sessions, and regular performance reviews. It’s also important to ensure that any job changes made are well-documented to ensure employees have clarity and direction, and clearly understand the framework of their newly crafted job.
Job crafting can be a powerful tool in a post-pandemic world, but it is important to ensure that it is implemented correctly to maximize its potential benefits. By creating an open dialogue with your employees, making sure job crafting is aligned with company objectives, and providing ongoing support, you can ensure that job crafting is successful in your organization.
Why job crafting is important in a post-pandemic world
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on businesses and the economy, and its effects are still being felt. Many organizations have been forced to adjust operations and make difficult decisions to survive, including cutting staff and reducing wages. This can have a serious impact on employee morale and engagement, which in turn negatively affects productivity, employee retention, and long-term success.
Many employees also got used to working remotely, and rearranged their schedules to meet their family’s needs. As more companies start adding hybrid work or return-to-office policies, job crafting can help employees feel heard and appreciated, while making sure the company still meets its goals.
Employee burnout and overwhelm is also rampant, and many companies are focused on mental health wellness for their employees this year. One easy area to improve mental health wellness is to help employees feel like they have control over more things in their life.
Job crafting is a great way to help employees feel empowered, without adding cost to the budget or having to roll out another new program (aside from needing to document the outcome of the job crafting process).
By encouraging employees to think critically about how they can contribute to achieving objectives and making adjustments accordingly, organizations can benefit from having more motivated and productive employees.
How job crafting ties to company objectives
Job crafting isn’t just beneficial for employees; it’s also beneficial for companies, because it can help them achieve their objectives. Companies are constantly looking for ways to increase employee satisfaction and performance, and job crafting can help with both. When employees feel that they are empowered to choose how they make meaningful contributions at work, they are significantly more likely to be engaged and productive. This can lead to higher overall productivity for the company and more efficient use of resources.
Since job crafting has been shown to increase workforce diversity, and increased diversity has a direct correlation to company innovation and profitability, job crafting can quickly improve a company’s bottom line.
Job crafting also helps to retain employees. If employees feel that their role is engaging and meaningful, and it meets the needs of their family, they are less likely to look for other opportunities outside of the organization. This saves the company significant money in recruiting and training costs, and ensures that they have a stable workforce.
As Steve Hunt says, “It is usually cheaper and less operationally disruptive to retain skilled talent than to replace it… If an employee with critical skills says ‘I plan to quit my job,’ do not ask ‘How can I change your mind so that you stay?’ Ask ‘How can we change your job so that you don’t want to go?’”
Employees also don’t want to lose the privilege of crafting their job in a way that works best for them, so they are much more likely to go the extra mile to deliver good quality work and ensure their projects are completed on time.
Overall, job crafting is an important tool for companies to use in a post-pandemic world. By allowing employees to customize their roles, companies can benefit from increased employee engagement and productivity while helping to achieve their objectives. In addition, job crafting can also help retain employees by making them feel valued and appreciated.