Crafting at Work
By Sara Andrade, People Developer & Community Manager at Newmanity
The concept of Do-It-Yourself has been widely adopted and it’s a modern trend. This method of building, modifying or repairing things without the direct aid of experts or professionals pops up on our Instagram and Facebook feeds related to reusable decoration, car fixing, home organization and even clothing!
The feeling of redesigning something that you love in your own way with the resources that you have available will make you feel more motivated, closer to the item and will add personal value and proximity.
So imagine now that you can apply it also to your job. If you introduce slight changes in your tasks and work routines you can add more meaning to your work. Well, dear readers, that’s the concept of job crafting.
Job crafting is the process by which employees redefine and reimagine their job designs in personally meaningful ways that can and will influence the meaningfulness of the work.
By “meaningful work” I mean that employees believe that what they are doing is significant and it serves an important purpose.
According to Dutton & Wrzesniewski*, meaningfulness is associated with numerous work-related benefits, including increased job satisfaction, motivation, and performance.
Job crafters can proactively reshape the boundaries of their jobs using three categories of job crafting techniques:
1. Task Crafting
Task crafting involves altering the set of responsibilities prescribed by a formal job description, by adding or dropping tasks, being able to change their nature or the time, energy, and attention allocated to various tasks.
For example, if you are assigned to do a proposal, instead of immediately getting started, check what was already done in previous proposals, try to do a brainstorm with yourself - or ask to bounce ideas off a colleague - to understand how you could make a difference this time; how could you add value to your client status and to your own work?
2. Relational Crafting
Through relational crafting, you can change how, when or who you interact with in the execution of your job: for example, if you are a software engineer, you can form a collaborative relationship with a marketing colleague and together develop a selling concept to your product.
3. Cognitive Crafting
Cognitive crafting, in turn, involves changing the way you perceive your tasks and the mission of your job. For example, if you are responsible for booking flights in a travel agency, instead of seeing the literal and superficial part of your work (research, book and receive a correspondent amount of money) try seeing what is behind it: you are helping your clients to find their Shangri-La destiny for the next few days, so use your empathy and attentiveness not just to fill needs, but to also raise joy.
Use a combination of these job crafting techniques, try one today or combine all of them during this week. Being a job crafter is a continuous process that, like exercise, will take practice but end up becoming something natural for you. As natural as feeling a purpose every new day, when you wake up.
Be attentive to details and keep an open mind to experiences and trials because your job can be as amusing as a bottle rocket, creative as a suitcase made of toothpaste plastic, and inspiring as a restored vintage bike.
*Berg, J. M., Dutton, J. E., & Wrzesniewski, A. (2013). Job crafting and meaningful work. In B. J. Dik, Z. S. Byrne & M. F. Steger (Eds.), Purpose and meaning in the workplace (pp. 81-104). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association