In our experience as human resource professionals leading and managing teams within organisations, we have found that job personalisation — that is, fitting jobs to employees as opposed to fitting employees to jobs— is an ideal approach to maximize employee engagement.
Employees disengage as they spend more time in predefined roles that lack growth opportunities. Although concerned leaders try to address this problem in many ways through teamwork, mentorship and incentive programs, their concerns miss a simple but pivotal point: employees are engaged through engaging jobs. Thus, job crafting can be a useful tool to improve one’s job. Although different interventions have been developed to support employees in their job crafting process, there are limitations regarding their suitability for continuous and autonomous job crafting in the home environment.
A few months ago, our team did a retrospect on the present industry and workplace changes we are all experiencing and the effects it has had on our roles, our business, and its effect on our work culture, which has now become remote. We are all undergoing a societal change due to the Covid 19 pandemic which has permanently accelerated the work-from-home trend. Job crafting becomes the activity by which an employee designs the activities within one’s job to fit their personal profile, and life circumstance. This is an effective way to increase work engagement. At KUSI Consulting, we often speak about the employee experience, which is similar to job crafting in that they both allow room for personalisation and ownership.
Positioning HR and your organisation through the job crafting phase:
Some selective roles require physical presence while others can be performed remotely. The Human Resource role has a distinct advantage in that the majority of operations can be carried out remotely when one has access to a stable internet connection and resources. It is not easy adapting to remote work, especially if you are a people person and you are used to working from a bustling sociable office. Remote work, although challenging, especially for introverts, can create a level of comfort for employees and provide them the confidence it takes to become independent decision makers, as well as more focused. Overall, working remotely has a positive effect on productivity, leadership, creativity, and performance.
We have found that when creating new jobs around individuals, it is necessary to approach each situation based on the personality of the person we are engaging. Each persona requires a different approach. Employee proactivity is a critical component to enable organisational and personal competitive advantage in a continuously changing economy. Therefore, employee empowerment may enable the creation of personalized working environments through self-motivation, determination, and innovation thereby optimizing employee work tasks and resources.
Bruning and Campion (2018) found through their qualitative study involving 246 interviews and evaluation of 433 job descriptions that value additive models of employee proactivity within organisational working components can increase performance, engagement and role satisfaction however, limitations exist due to occupational differences.
Job Crafting; the Way to Employee Satisfaction and Productivity
Last year was no doubt a game changer for HR and organisations. It not only propelled us to the future of work, but also forced businesses to make the employee experience a reality. Employees today do not want to be just another number; they want to feel listened to, understood and cared for by their organisation. Thus delivering a personalised benefits scheme, which is able to accommodate the individual’s interests and life goals, is instrumental in ensuring employees remain with the organisation and have the support they need to work at their optimal best. Consequently, here are some few factors to consider in job crafting leading to job satisfaction and productivity.
Self-reflection & motivation
Employees should play an active role in job crafting and goal setting. This will motivate them even more and help them to reflect. Reflection is a significant part of job crafting. When employees are committed to executing their job-crafting plan, they should be aware of their personal goals and how the execution of these goals affects their job satisfaction.
Considering the home environment limits the amount of personal support, there ought to be appropriate direction and frameworks set up to upgrade self-motivation. Here, the employee must define a goal, after which they develop an action plan. After execution of the plan, it is then monitored through self-reflection. In light of this, the outcomes are evaluated based on whether it affects the future or how it can be improved to be more effective in the future. Afterwards, the plan can be re-executed, new objectives set, and adjusted.
Personalising with Choice:
In addition to making personalisation more meaningful, choices and decisions must be tied closely to the needs of various segments of the workforce and should be diverse enough to satisfy those needs. Employers need to find a balance between providing meaningful choice and overwhelming employees with too many options. At the same time, organisations ought to consider the cost of potential benefits to stay within budget since it’s the time to weigh the trade-offs between the value an employee brings and its associated cost.
In conclusion, this creates teams that are more effective and allow HR Professionals to place a premium on hiring for talent and insight regardless of some possible gaps in experience. This we believe will change the direction of employee engagement and lead to satisfaction and productivity in 2023 and beyond.
Irene Osae, Human Resource Manager at KUSI Consulting & Rita Kusi, CEO & Sr. Consultant & KUSI Consulting.