Team Jobcraft Canvas 1.0

Team Jobcraft Canvas 1.0

Work is important. For the average adult, it’ll take 35% of your time while working age. That’s why more and more people are trying to find jobs they like. From the other side, companies are discovering that people perform substantially better when they’re happy (see e.g. this meta-analysis on the causal relation between happiness and success — yes, causal). Big problem: it’s not always that easy to find your dream job. Economy is meagre, you like the city you live in, you’re afraid of the uncertainty. Plenty of reasons to stick with your current job. And that’s where jobcrafting comes in. In short: it’s a way of remodeling your job (within the prerequisites) so it is more to your liking. And one of the best ways of jobcrafting: searching for ways to put your strengths in action. That way, both your boss benefits (you perform well by using your talents) and you. Using strengths is associated with all kinds of measures for wellbeing (e.g. here and here). Other ways include connecting with the purpose of the work, having autonomy to execute tasks in your own way and working together with people you like.

I’d like to give you a useful tool in jobcrafting. It might help you with tackling one of the common problems of jobcrafting: it can be a lone enterprise. And when it is, it might harm fellow team members (stealing their favorite tasks and such). So, instead of just picking the cherries and leave the rest to your colleagues, you want to figure out a win-win situation. Perhaps Jane loves precise work and gladly takes over your accounting tasks — while you are more than willing to relieve her from the task of calling customers to talk about their customer experience. This Team Jobcraft Canvas 1.0 is a useful conversation starter.

Step 1 — introduce jobcrafting

Start the talk with your team by explaining jobcrafting. You might say it’s a method of improving your work experience. You’re searching for new ways of doing and dividing the work so everyone is more happy with it. When you find such a way, your performance will improve as will your enjoyment and work satisfaction.

Step 2 — identify the different tasks/roles

To get a good start, take 15–30 minutes to create an inventory of all the (global) tasks and roles you’re performing as a team. Don’t bother to get into too great detail — just a global assessment suffices. This way, all team members know what kind of stuff needs to be done.

Step 3 — fill in the canvas

Next, everyone fills in the Canvas. Under talents/strengths, write down a couple of points that you’re good at. Want help with this? Try the free VIA Character Strengths test (racter.org/Survey/Account/Register). Strengths should be energizing, being not effortless but natural for you. Based on the tasks you’ve come up with, every team member can pick those tasks that are energizing, interesting or otherwise fitting.

The next boxes are very important. Your expectations of team members and external parties, as well as what you promise to offer them is a great indicator. Ideally, this all works out — for every expectation there is a matching promise. We’ll talk about that later. Let every team member write down his or her thoughts — at least partly in relation to the tasks mentioned earlier.

Step 4 — compare the canvases

Now, it’s time to talk. Some good starting points with the canvas are the following:

1. Compare expectations from team members with what people say others can expect from them. As mentioned, it would be great if this is a perfect match. More likely, people expect a bit more than offered. Ask around: do people want to lower expectations? Or even better: do people want to live up to those expectations? With this canvas, it’s very clear to see that meeting an expectation is helpful for a specific person.

2. Talk about whether expectations from the company are met. Another great source of work frustration. Get this clear and talk about it. Making it explicit can help you to either state your wishes to higher management, or accepting that it’s not reality.

3. Look at the roles: which are empty or double-filled? What happens with tasks that no one wants to do? How can the team make those more attractive or at least bearable? And for tasks that everyone wants to do: how can we make sure that the work is done well and at the same time all people can enjoy it at least a bit? Of course, you should take into account how many people are needed on a certain role or task.

4. And last bot definitely not least: are people’s strengths and talents used? Are their tasks that fit their talents? Are there ways to use strengths in a different way to improve the more mundane or boring tasks? (see this website for loads of suggestions how to use strengths differently) How can you engage people by calling in their talents?

This canvas is a starting point. It helps you think about expectations, task division and the team. Even more important is the thought underlying this: work can be fun. Work together to make work more fun for everyone.

PDF? Here you go

I’m interested in your experiences with jobcrafting and this Canvas. Feel free to share and use it! If you’ve got feedback, let me know by replying to this blog. I’d love to come up with improved versions.

If you want a pdf of the Team Jobcraft Canvas, follow my personal blog and you’ll get it in your mailbox right away.