Original Research

An evaluation of job crafting as an intervention aimed at improving work engagement

Emmarentia C. Thomas, Marieta du Plessis, Kevin G.F. Thomas
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 46 | a1703 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v46i0.1703 | © 2020 Emmarentia C. Thomas, Marieta du Plessis, Kevin G.F. Thomas | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 June 2019 | Published: 23 March 2020

About the author(s)

Emmarentia C. Thomas, Department of Industrial Psychology, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa
Marieta du Plessis, Department of Industrial Psychology, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa
Kevin G.F. Thomas, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: In the construction industry, a lack of engagement by employees can have serious and costly health and safety consequences.

Research purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a job-crafting intervention could improve the work engagement of individuals employed in the construction industry.

Motivation for the study: Because of tight deadlines and stringent requirements, managers in the construction industry are often unable to reduce the demands on, or increase the resources available to, their employees. Hence, if employees are to increase their work engagement, they need to exert personal agency by recrafting their own jobs.

Research approach/design and method: A quasi-experimental research approach was used. One group of employees (n = 33) completed the pre- and post-measures and participated in a 1-day job crafting training session. A comparison group (n = 22) only completed the measures, at the same intervals.

Main findings: At the post-intervention measurement point, participants exposed to the intervention showed significantly higher levels of work engagement than those in the comparison group. Across the entire sample, changes in work engagement were correlated with changes in job-crafting behaviours but were not, however, correlated with changes in job demands and resources.

Practical/managerial implications: Job-crafting interventions have the potential to enable employees to proactively improve their work engagement.

Contribution/value-add: The study findings support a relatively rich literature, which suggests that employees who take a proactive role in crafting their job-related tasks and environments tend to take on psychologically fulfilling activities and will be more engaged in their work.


Keywords

work engagement; job crafting; job-crafting intervention; job demands; job resources; quasi-experimental.

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