It’s an emerging trend aimed at increasing employee commitment and team performance: job crafting, or shaping one’s job to make it more meaningful. A specialist in the field, the French platform Somanyways, has just published a guide on the subject. Here’s how it works.

When it comes to human resources, we often tend to talk about negative trends and problem areas: silent resignations, deterioration of the candidate experience, information overload, big resignations and so on. Yet there are also innovative solutions for dealing with disengagement and high staff turnover.

Somanyways details one in particular in its latest white paper: job crafting.

Job crafters don’t just carry out their tasks, they redefine their contribution to the organization according to what drives them deeply. They seek to align their job with their aspirations and put their uniqueness at the service of the company’s challenges”, she points out.

What is job personalization?

This practice consists in crafting one’s own work. It’s a spontaneous process of adapting one’s work of one’s own free will, with the aim of making it more meaningful. “This can involve work content, working relationships and even the way you perceive your job,” says Sylvaine Pascual, a coach who wrote a short book on the subject a few years ago. We can also add to this the ability to adjust the modalities and organization of one’s work.

The concept itself is not new. The term was coined in the early 2000s by American researchers Jane Dutton and Emy Wrzesniewski. They realized that meaning at work is closely linked to employees’ ownership of their jobs. In other words, having the ability to influence one’s own work is a powerful motivating factor.

A lesson drawn directly from the theory of self-determination, discussed on Isarta recently, which differentiates between intrinsic motivation (which comes from oneself) and extrinsic motivation (which comes from others). To explain this notion, Somanyways also cites the “Ikea effect”. This psychological bias, theorized by Duke University psychology professor Dan Ariely, causes us to attribute greater value and attachment to what we create ourselves.

Applied to the world of work, this effect takes on another dimension. The more employees participate and invest in the design of their work, the more valuable that work will be in their eyes. As a result, they will be more motivated and more involved,” says the guide.

Ingredients for success

That said, how can we empower employees to influence their own work? Somanyways speaks of a systemic approach at different levels of the company:

  • The management team must provide a culture and tools that will enable this individual approach to flourish.
  • Managers need to create the right conditions, through conversations and exchange spaces.
  • Finally, employees need to identify and express their needs… in order to match them with what would enable them to thrive in their work. A real work of introspection is therefore necessary beforehand, in order to understand what really matters to each person in his or her job.

However, there are a few pitfalls to be aware of when putting this approach into practice. On the one hand, it must be a proactive approach on the part of the employee. It can be encouraged, but not imposed. On the other hand, it must be accompanied by a process of empowerment on the part of managers, and is therefore not compatible with people who are adept at micro-management.

Now, to improve your teams’ commitment and reduce stress and conflict in the workplace, you know that it’s better to make them responsible for their work than to offer them fruit baskets or arcade games!

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