How to Job Craft as a Team

How to Job Craft as a Team

    Whats Inside?

Job Crafting is a proactive behaviour that employees use when they feel that changes in their job are necessary. Job crafting includes taking proactive steps and actions to reshape what we do at work, effectively modifying roles, relationships and expectations of our jobs (Berg et al., 2007). The key premise is that we can remain in the same place by actually adjusting what we do and the 'whole point' behind it, bringing more sense out of our work.

Job crafting is supposed to bring positive outcomes as it can increase gains, and having a sense of ability to act (Wrzesniewski & Dutton, 2001), may help employees to achieve work goals (Parker, Bindl, & Strauss, 2010), to take control, to find meaning in work, to fulfil the need for connection (Wrzesniewski & Dutton, 2001), and to improve the person-job fit (Tims & Bakker, 2010).

Job Crafting can be done in three possible ways, says Professor Amy Wrzesniewski, who first introduced the concept with Jane Dutton in 2001. These are task crafting, relationship crafting, and/or cognitive crafting, and they describe the ‘behaviours’ that employees can use to become ‘crafters’. Through one or more of these activities, we can aim to create the job-person fit that might be lacking in our current roles (Wrzesniewski & Dutton, 2001; Tims & Bakker, 2010).

The most discussed aspect of the method may be task crafting, perhaps because job crafting is generally seen as active 'shaping' or 'moulding' one's role. It can involve adding or removing the duties set out in the official job description (Berg et al., 2013).

This type of crafting might also involve changing the nature of certain responsibilities, or dedicating different amounts of time to what you currently do. As we’ll see in some of the examples below, this doesn’t necessarily affect the quality or impact of what you’re hired to do.

Relationship Crafting is how people reshape the type and nature of the interactions they have with others. In other words, relationship crafting can involve changing up who we work with on different tasks, who we communicate and engage with regularly (Berg et al., 2013). A marketing manager might brainstorm with the firm’s app designer to talk and learn about the user interface, unlocking creativity benefits while crafting relationships.

Cognitive crafting is how people change their mind-sets about the tasks they do (Tims & Bakker, 2010). By changing perspectives on what we’re doing, we can find or create more meaning about what might otherwise be seen as ‘busy work’. Changing hotel bedsheets in this sense might be less about cleaning and more about making travellers’ journeys more comfortable and memorable.


Team job crafting is a three-step process by which leaders and their teams:



       Identify the strategic contributions the team makes to the organization.

2.         Define the aspirations and capabilities of the team.

3.         Distribute work across the blend of passions, skills, and career aspirations of team members while ensuring the requirements of the broader organization are fulfilled.


Team job crafting becomes a tool for increasing both individual and team purpose. As each person shares their individual and shared aspirations, colleagues ask questions to better understand and learn how to support them. As a result, this part of the process amplifies a sense of connection and belonging as everyone feels a personal stake in one another’s aspirations.

The power in this strategy is that you increase the chances of figuring out who can perform certain things more efficiently or more efficiently, or who don't mind doing them. The cycle also exposes, in some situations, superfluous practices that can simply be omitted, freeing up resources that can be diverted to more important actions.

Each team or function adds distinct value to the strategy of the organization. Knowing the strategic role of your team is crucial as it means that the members of your team understand first how they contribute to the success of the entire organization. Beginning with this inventory also helps to prioritize the team's most significant efforts as the very research that will help them achieve their greatest ambitions. The strength of team-building is that it provides greater exposure and insight into how the entire team's work blends in its mutual commitment and fits into the organization's broader story.

With an understanding of what the organization expects from your team, the next step is to ask people what they want to achieve and why. Each person on the team will first write down in this phase, then share what they consider to be their greatest gifts and what research they feel most fulfil their sense of purpose.

Armed with a shared understanding of the team’s strategic commitments to the organization, and an inventory of the team’s individual and shared aspirations, you can now craft jobs that span both. This is an iterative process to ensure work is distributed equitably, and that the jobs you create are realistic. Keeping these analyses side by side, facilitate a conversation with your team to help them identify obvious places where individual skills and passions match their obligations.




Keithley Tongai is a Consultant intern at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a business management and human resources consulting firm.


Keithly Tongai
This article was written by Keithly a Guest at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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