HUMANS ARE AWESOME
Written by: Hanadi El Sayyed
We go through days when we are dissatisfied with our jobs, don’t feel challenged anymore by the work we are doing, question if we are adding any value to our organizations, and ponder if the work we are doing is answering our calling. We wake up every morning disenchanted, no longer driven by what we are doing. We stop seeing the meaning, we feel unhappy and more often quitting our job seems to be the solution.
Luc Dorenbosch, a researcher, says people quite often fall out of love with their jobs when actually it’s just a few small things that are making them unhappy. In his research he found that people might be satisfied with 80% of a job, “but it’s the ‘bothersome’ 20 percent of the job that is making them want to leave.” In many cases, he says, it would be better to experiment with the current job to try to make it more satisfying.
What he is referring to is the discipline of “job crafting” – reshaping our jobs in such a way that it makes us happy again.
Coined in 2001 and detailed in a 2007 briefing paper from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, job crafting is the “active changes employees make to their own job designs in ways that can bring about numerous positive outcomes, including engagement, job satisfaction, resilience, and thriving.”
The U of M paper includes real stories of employees who have succeeded in taking advantage of opportunities to customize their job by actively changing tasks and interactions with others resulting in them becoming happier and attaining higher levels of self-fulfillment.
How did they do that? By contributing to an important project, creating new ways of doing things so the job became less repetitive, helping colleagues as a way to increase social interaction, and sharing knowledge.
In a presentation for Google’s re:Work – “Job Crafting- On Creating Meaning In Your Own Work” — Dr. Amy Wrzesniewski, professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management, discusses the art and science of job crafting.
“She set-up two groups – one simply followed the job description while the second was asked to take on other, related tasks of their own choosing. Differences between the two groups were significant – the second group found meaning in their work and saw themselves and their purpose as radically different from their counterparts.”
She found that “allowing an employee to influence work scope changes the meaning of that work, and allows them to take ownership of their job. Wrzesniewski’s work shows that job crafting can foster engagement, job satisfaction, and resilience.”
Josh Bersin describes how job crafting enables employees to create “meaningful work”, one of 5 core drivers of employee success in the “Simply Irresistible” model for employee engagement. According to this model, autonomy is at the heart of job crafting.
How do you craft your job in a way that is fulfilling to you and valuable to the organization. Here are 5 steps:
For organizations keen on creating workplace environments where employees thrive and perform at their best, job crafting is a powerful tool for employee engagement and wellness if implemented and managed effectively. As the Michigan paper points out,
“Job crafting is not always positive. It has the potential to cause harm if the crafting goes against organizational goals or produces negative side effects. Even when the crafting is beneficial for the individual job crafter, it still may be harmful to the overall organization.”
Hanadi El Sayyed
Hanadi El Sayyed has 18 years of experience as a Leader in Human Resources. Her career includes key HR leadership roles and professional consulting with large regional organizations. Her experience ranges from partnering with business to drive business strategies to ensuring the realization of organizational people visions through the development and implementation of future driven, fit for purpose HR practices.