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Unleashing the Crafty Art of Job Crafting: A Burnout Buster's Guide

3 minute read

By Stavy Papasotiriou, Organisational Psychologist and Founder of Work Unlocked

Visualise work as an unending marathon, replete with obstacles of stress and frustration, while burnout looms at the distant finish line. Within modern workplaces, burnout stands as a formidable adversary, capable of sapping employees' vitality, enthusiasm, and very sense of accomplishment. However, before you contemplate conceding defeat or entering into a battle against office furniture, there exists an astute strategy with the potential to invoke change: job crafting. Job crafting, an avenue to reshape our surroundings to match our needs, emerges as a potent tool in the battle against burnout.

But what exactly is job crafting, and why does it matter? Let’s dive right in!


People view their work through different lenses—whether as a job, a career, or a calling. Job crafters adapt their roles based on these perceptions. By delving into your employees' connections with their work and understanding their motivations for job crafting, you can provide the necessary support and guidance to help them align with their aspirations and necessities.

Employees engage in job crafting for three pivotal reasons:

  1. Control: The inherent desire for personal autonomy drives employees. Encouraging job crafting grants individuals the power to exert control over their work, fostering a sense of ownership and preventing detachment, ultimately leading to heightened job satisfaction.
  2. Positive Self-Image: Assisting employees in aligning their work with their self-concept is crucial. When individuals perceive dissonance between their job and their self-image, they are motivated to reshape their roles to create harmony. Nurturing this process cultivates a positive self-image, translating into enhanced motivation and productivity.
  3. Connection: Nurturing meaningful connections within your organisation is essential. Social bonds and meaningful relationships fuel human well-being. By enabling employees to shape their work interactions, you empower them to forge deeper connections with colleagues, fostering a positive workplace atmosphere and enriching job contentment.


Perhaps you've heard the well-known NASA cleaner's statement: "I'm helping to put a man on the moon." This phrase encapsulates the crux of job crafting. Despite the nature of the job, employees possess the capacity to influence their work experiences. Job crafting entails making tangible and cognitive alterations within the confines of their tasks, enabling individuals to sculpt and redefine their roles. By endorsing job crafting, you unlock your employees' significant potential, cultivating a culture of innovation.

Job crafting isn't confined to mere task adjustments—it revolutionises the entire work encounter. When employees partake in job crafting, they fulfill their fundamental psychological needs for autonomy, positive self-perception, and connection. Consequently, job satisfaction and performance surge. Job crafting moulds employees' identities and shapes their perception of the meaning inherent in their work. By aligning job attributes with individual aptitudes and requirements, employees forge a profound connection with their roles, thereby contributing purposefully to the organisation's triumph.


Job crafting entails not only transforming how one approaches tasks but also enriching their stock of job resources. These resources encompass support from colleagues, the autonomy to make independent decisions, and the cognitive tools to navigate challenges. These resources hold the key to resolving burnout. Research indicates that modifying job requirements and resources can significantly diminish stress levels. Tailoring one's job to align with their strengths and interests lessens the likelihood of burnout. In fact, job crafting heralds increased engagement, superior performance, and heightened well-being. 

By refine-tuning your employees’ jobs, you're not only avoiding burnout; you're fostering an environment wherein job satisfaction and well-being flourish.


The concept of job crafting offers a beacon of hope in the landscape of modern work, providing a mechanism to address the looming threat of burnout. It equips HR professionals with a strategic tool to enhance job satisfaction, elevate performance, and cultivate a thriving workplace culture. By embracing the principles of job crafting, organisations can tap into the individuality and strengths of their employees, crafting a tapestry of roles that are not only meaningful but also invigorating. In the ongoing narrative of workplace wellness, job crafting emerges as a chapter dedicated to empowering employees, fostering growth, and nurturing fulfilment.



Stavy Papasotiriou is an organisational psychologist and the visionary behind Work Unlocked — a leading HR consultancy on a mission to revolutionise employee engagement, performance, and retention in businesses worldwide. With a profound understanding of HR practices, Stavy leverages psychological principles to unleash the untapped potential of workforces. At Work Unlocked, Stavy crafts bespoke strategies that are grounded in research and tailored to each organization's unique needs. These strategies are designed to yield remarkable results while requiring minimal resources.


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