“Crafting” the Jobs We Have into the Jobs We Want

Want to change the jobs your employees have into the jobs they want? Try a new concept called job crafting – an easy way for your employees to create the jobs they want from the jobs they already have. The best part is that your organization can reap the rewards of a happier, motivated, and more fully engaged employee.

This past month, the Harvard Business Review published an article on a new and growing concept called job crafting. Job crafting is an empowering way for employees to re-engineer their jobs into ones that more engaging, meaningful, and fulfilling.  It’s a method that employees can use to map out their interests, passions, and strengths and how those can align with their day to day tasks and realities in order to make work more engaging.  It puts engagement in the hands of employees (versus managers, HR, or the organization) by encouraging employees to…

  • define or identify their interests, passions, motivations, and strengths
  • map out the tasks they are involved with along a time continuum (spends most time; spends least time) as well as an importance continuum (most important/critical; least important/critical)
  • explore how tasks, relationships and perceptions can change or be re-organized within the realities of their current job to better align with their interests, passions, motivations, and strengths

Job crafting is about empowering an employee to re-think his or her role by taking on more, fewer or different tasks, expanding or contracting task scope, changing the methods by which work is performed, seeking new opportunities, building or creating new relationships, or simply changing one’s perception of the purpose of their work (Wrzesniewski, Berg, & Dutton, 2010).

While job crafting responsibilities fall mainly on the employee, the organization plays a crucial role in providing the climate necessary for such behavior.  Climates that emphasize autonomy, development, self-assessment, and creativity support job crafting.  Employees should have enough independence to be able to make subtle changes to their tasks and relationships. In addition, most employees will need to be encouraged to look at their jobs differently.

Research across a range of organizations of all industries and sizes has shown that employees who use job crafting are more engaged and satisfied and achieve higher performance results. It can even help your poor performers. Through job crafting, employees can turn the job they have into the job they want (Wrzesniewski, Berg, & Dutton, 2010).


Wrzesniewski, A., Berg, J.M., & Dutton, J.E. (2010). Turn the job you have into the job you want. Harvard Business Review.

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