Job crafting: how to customize the work for yourself?
On March 15-17, 2023, the VII International Labor Forum was held in St. Petersburg. The Lab employee Maina Miletich made a presentation at the forum on “Job crafting: how to customize the work for yourself.”
One of the main topics of this year's Forum was the shortage of personnel and the high level of uncertainty faced by both organizations and employees. On the one hand, it is especially important to maintain the psychological well–being of employees in such a situation; on the other hand, in a situation of high uncertainty, it becomes extremely difficult to solve this task "from top to bottom" by offering employees various support measures. One of the solutions can be "job customization" – job crafting.
This concept was proposed by American psychologists Amy Vrzezniewski and Jane Dutton. They called the term "job crafting" a special type of behavior at work, through which employees make their work more enjoyable and appropriate to their motives and preferences. Setting up work differs from other methods of redesigning work in that changes are initiated by the employee himself (and often go unnoticed even by the direct supervisor!). And setting up work differs from other types of proactive behavior in work by a goal: setting up work is aimed not at solving work tasks, but at the well-being of the employee himself and satisfaction from the work process. Cognitive crafting, an individual process of giving meaning and significance to work, is of particular importance in the process of setting up work.
In English-language literature, the topic of work settings is extremely popular, but there are very few studies and popular science literature on this topic in Russian. The very idea that an ideal job cannot be found, it needs to be created, turns out to be new and unexpected for most listeners. It is even more difficult for managers to accept this idea. At the same time, according to research, most of the ways of setting up work that employees resort to have a positive effect on the company's performance: the very fact that employees make efforts to get more satisfaction from the work process contributes to increasing employee engagement and efficiency of their work.
In addition to a small theoretical review, Maina offered the audience several exercise questions."What does my job mean to me?" and "How do I feel in the process of work?" are the basic questions that a person needs to answer before setting up work. The discussion of these issues was the end of the presentation, although this is only the beginning for the process of setting up work!