MOTIVATING EMPLOYEES TO GO BEYOND CALL OF DUTY
Neeti Sadana, 40 years and living with her aging mother in North Delhi is the only earning member in her small family, which also comprises a younger brother with an intellectual disability. She worked in the tourism industry before the current pandemic swept her job like it has for thousands of Indians employed in this dynamic industry. Now after months of being home and fretting, she is working for an Indian call centre to keep the fire burning on the gas stove at home. She is not happy but has relatively few options. Lack of options and with an economy in free fall, lakhs like her have had to resort to desperate meanings to keep body & soul together. However, there is no motivation or spark to get to the office or get things done on a daily basis.
People like Neeti Sadana are symbolic representations of many who pose challenges to company bosses/management or leaders. They are lacking energy, enthusiasm to rise to the occasion, to make themselves get counted at the end of the day. In this scenario, the concept of “job crafting” is paying dividends as it gains traction as part of a corporate buzzword in boardrooms around the world.
What does job crafting mean and what does it have to do with motivating employees? It is defined as redesigning of their work structure by amendments to tasks, people whom they interact with, and mindset towards work which allows for the usage of their strengths & passions. It is remolding of their formal roles at work which translates into happier and productive employees. Their contribution to work is on the up, which they find fulfilling and rewarding in line with their core strengths.
Some examples of job crafting include getting an introvert person who enjoys mentoring to start mentoring new joinees and spare him the torture of making nerve-racking presentations to rooms full of peers. Another example is to get a colleague who writes well to draft reports, presentations, etc, and eliminate the need to study through tedious office meetings which he/she abhors.
Job crafting is a new phenomenon and needs wide acceptance slowly. Such ideas of job crafting within the formal structure of an office means a win-win for the employee, the management, and the company. It means a happy ambience and less attrition. With employees working according to their likes, strengths, and passions, the need for financial rewards/incentives becomes optional as employees are anyways happily going beyond the call of duty as per their strengths. This means saving overhead costs in reward schemes etc.
If the company where Neeti currently works had this concept of “job crafting” they would see the goldmine that is Neeti and play it to their advantage. Focus on each employee’s strengths, passions, and likes, and reap the fruits to the advantage of the company. Motivating employees is in the hands of the owners/management, make it count.