Crafting research projects

Crafting for purpose: Sustainability training interventions

HPM-scientists: Keri Pekaar & Evangelia Demerouti

This project was aimed at developing and testing sustainability training interventions to assist employees in the implementation of sustainability (people, planet, profit) in their daily work.

We targeted both sustainable decision-making in employees core work tasks and employees’ own sustainability behavior at work (e.g., two-sided printing, waste separation). In the training interventions we combined crafting principles (job crafting, network crafting) with nudging principles (reminders to keep crafting) in order to “sustain” the effects of the training.
We developed a classic face-to-face version of the training including two workshops and weekly crafting goals, but also an innovative self-training version in which participants are stimulated to be more sustainable on a daily basis.

The effects of the training interventions showed that the procurement activities of a group supply chain professionals become more sustainable (e.g., supplier selection, saving opportunities) and that they evaluate their work as being more meaningful after the face-to-face training. The sample that followed the self-training started to engage more in sustainability activities at work such as recycling coffee cups, taking microbreaks, and switching off devices. We are currently creating online versions of the sustainability training interventions in order to increase their reach.


Crafting planning decisions: The effect of daily crafting on planning adjustments

HPM-scientists: Philippe van de Calseyde, Bregje van der Staak & Evangelia Demerouti

In the current situation of changing work environments and emerging competition, it is highly important for companies to operate efficiently. To achieve this goal, companies need accurate planning techniques.  The planning task is difficult as it requires planners to combine multiple data sources. To fuse these different data streams, planning systems are used to assist in generating a viable plan. More specifically, planners obtain initial advice from a planning system, which can be adjusted. However, although these adjustments are common, little is known about the nature and the antecedents of these adjustments. The aim of this project was to address these issues by uncovering how changes in the way planners interact with planning systems and the working environment, relate to their planning behaviors. Data was collected in various companies.

Results showed that planners who actively change how they interact with their planning systems (i.e., use planning crafting) propose larger adjustments. This result is stronger on days in which more complex tasks needed to be performed. These findings imply that a larger adjustment size during a day can be explained by how planners interact with planning systems when executing complicated tasks.


Crafting professional and social networks to increase well-being and creativity

HPM-scientists:  Piet van Gool & Evangelia Demerouti

While social networks are known to be important for the generation of ideas at work, how employees proactively shape their network has not been studied extensively. Moreover, the potential costs (e.g. in terms of well-being) of social networks have received scant attention. Social networks can provide resources, but can at the same time be demanding, affecting employees’ well-being.

We developed a network crafting intervention to help employees optimize their professional network in terms of well-being and creativity. During the training, employees map their social network and explore how the structure of their network, the relationships in their network, as well as how they use their network affects their creativity and well-being. Based on their individual situation, employees make a personalized crafting plan. In this plan they formulate crafting goals to shape and use their professional network such that it benefits their well-being and creativity.  


Study crafting workshop

HPM-scientists: Renée Boesten

Students are confronted with social and study-related stress. In this project, we trained students to develop and apply study crafting techniques to reduce their stress levels.

Students were taught how to change their study environment (study circumstances, tasks and/or relationships) themselves by seeking resources (social support), optimizing demands, increasing challenges, and increasing the use of their network. During a three-hour workshop, various theories and techniques related to study crafting are explained. By investigating personal engagement and burnout scores, they are shown the relevance of study crafting whereas exercises help them to explore study crafting possibilities. By looking at their actions, they gained more insight into the fact that they are already applying (small) steps of study crafting. The workshop ended with the preparation of a study crafting plan defined with SMART goals and was followed by an evaluation meeting. In which participants share study crafting experiences.


Crafting the search for work

HPM-scientists: Inge Hulshof, Pascale Le Blanc & Evangelia Demerouti

Losing work has major consequences for everyone affected, from financial problems to negative health effects. Through crafting people can focus on those things that give them energy in their (search for) work and try to do the things that cost a lot of energy as efficiently as possible. We looked at the role of job crafting among consultants of the UWV as well as at the role of reemployment crafting among job seekers.

Results showed that when employees (of UWV Werkbedrijf) crafted their job, they experienced their work as more meaningful, this in turn improved service towards customers. Even more important is that customers of these employees were also more satisfied with the service they received from UWV. So, job crafting contributed positively to the service performance of employees.

Results also showed that when jobseekers craft, they show more active search behavior. People explore more options and have more network conversations. These network conversations contribute to the chances of resuming work: people who had good quality network conversations were almost 3 to 4 times more likely to find a job in the 6 months that follow. Crafting also helps jobseekers to continue when things get tough. Even when people experience little social support or feel they are not getting ahead, crafting helps people to keep actively looking for work.

When job seekers are trained to use reemployment crafting during their job search, they feel better and suffer less from negative thoughts. People also set more goals, explored more options and were networking more. Crafting therefore helps jobseekers to feel better, and to continue looking for a new job actively.


Team Work Crafting: Increasing team flexibility in dynamic environmentS

HPM-scientists: Ruobing Zhang, Josette Gevers, & Evangelia Demerouti

The modern work environment confronts organizational members with many challenges that require an adaptive response. It was well-known that job crafting helps individuals to reconstruct their job to adapt to changes in the work environment. However, as employees increasingly work in team-based arrangements, the question arises whether crafting could also help teams to adapt to the challenging dynamic environments in contemporary industries.

Team work crafting involves proactive, coordinated efforts through which team members optimize work conditions (i.e., demands and resources), aiming to establish fit and meaning in team work processes to enhance subsequent team outcomes. Similar to individual job crafting, team work crafting is a bottom-up process that team members engage in - individually or collectively- to make their work more meaningful and satisfying, but always in a coordinated manner as to benefit the entire team and not just a single member or subgroup.

The goal of the current research is to examine the role of team work crafting in allowing teams to flexibly adapt to dynamic environments. Moreover, we aim to develop team work crafting interventions to enhance the flexibility and effectiveness of teams operating in contemporary high-tech industry.