Job satisfaction, job crafting, joy in work

Rachel Morris
Colin Lindsay
Ioanna Nixon
Kirsten Armit

Job crafting for innovation and joy in work: How to craft your job to find happiness at work

Key themes for the session

This session explores evidence from the health and care sectors and beyond to identify the factors that contribute to ‘joy in work’ and increase work engagement and wellbeing in healthcare teams. To tackle the issues of spiralling workload and increasing patient demand, many organisations have focussed on recruiting more staff into different roles and providing various ‘wellbeing initiatives’ in order to improve wellbeing and reduce burnout in their staff. However, in the short term, as staff shortages are continue and demand increases, it will take time to see any sustained results from these interventions.

Instead, healthcare stakeholders such as the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and many NHS organisations have identified promoting ‘joy in work’ as a route to improving staff experience, which may in turn lead to reduced burnout risk and improved wellbeing and performance across teams. Some of the principles for promoting ‘joy in work’ include: supporting cohesive teamwork; management (Perlo et al., 2017). There is a solid evidence base to suggest that these elements of staff experience might matter in supporting wellbeing and performance.

However, there remain questions as to how ‘joy in work’ can be made real in the day-to-day work of healthcare teams. One clue may lie in an emerging evidence base on the value of ‘job crafting’. Job crafting is defined as the adjustments people can make for themselves in the task, relational, or cognitive boundaries of their work. To quote Gordon et al.’s (2018) research on job crafting in healthcare teams: “Job crafting gives individuals control in changing their work environment because it enables individuals to fit the job to their needs and preferences by seeking resources, seeking (challenging) demands, and reducing (hindering) demands on a daily basis”. Multiple studies suggest that improving scope for job crafting has the potential to enhance work engagement, wellbeing and even problem-solving/ team performance (CIPD, 2021). Given the need to address the wellbeing implications of demanding work in healthcare teams, such insights from research on job crafting may be important.

In this You Are Not A Frog podcast recording session with live Q&A, our panel will discuss:

(a)    the wide range of evidence from healthcare and other sectors on how different components of workplace practice can promote ‘joy in work’ and engagement;

(b)    how organisations can to increase opportunities for job crafting as a route to both more ‘joy in work’ and work engagement that will benefit healthcare teams and service users;

(c)     the steps individuals can take to craft their own job to foster improved work engagement and wellbeing.


CIPD (2021). Employee Engagement: Definitions, Measures and Outcomes. London: Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development.

Gordon, H.J., Demerouti, E., Le Blanc, P.M., Bakker, A B., Bipp, T., & Verhagen, M.A.M.T. (2018). Individual job redesign: Job crafting interventions in healthcare. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 104, 98– 114.

Perlo, J., Balik, B., Swensen, S., Kabcenell, A., Landsman, J., & Feeley, D. (2017). IHI Framework for Improving Joy in Work. IHI White Paper. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Institute for Healthcare Improvement.