Seminar to showcase university's job crafting tool

Tuesday 9 March 2010

Issues such as employee engagement and wellbeing will be the topic of a debate over tea and toast at the business breakfast seminar, staged by ConsultIWP. This event as part of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Festival of Social Science will show how organisations can involve employees in crafting better quality jobs, using the Institute's participative job redesign tool 'Scenarios Planning'.

'Job Crafting - How to Improve the Quality of Work by Engaging Employees' will show CEOs, senior managers, HR specialists and union representatives how they can respond positively to events that otherwise have adverse effects on the content and structure of jobs for instance, downsizing and restructuring.

Carol Tighe, Business Manager at the Institute of Work Psychology explains: "Many organisations are finding life tough at the moment and we know that the measures that they may need to take to remain viable can adversely affect employees' wellbeing.  By contrast, the Scenarios Planning tool encourages managers and employees to think about jobs in a structured way so that they are able to re-craft their jobs to improve employee happiness and performance."

"Crafting a new job may involve making changes to the level of job control, participation in decision-making, opportunities to learn and exercise skills, as well as obtaining feedback on their work.  It may include minimising or eliminating obstacles that inhibit the flow of work," Carol Tighe adds.

Dr David Holman from the Institute of Work Psychology will show how the tool works in action by drawing on recent projects that, besides improving employee wellbeing saw raised performance and reduced absenteeism. 

The seminar is one of a series of ConsultIWP sessions designed to help businesses survive the economic downturn by providing them with industry-leading insight and HR best practices. Designed as informal events at which people can talk and learn about new HR approaches, it also facilitates the sharing of research findings with local businesses and show how its consultancy services can serve local needs.

Sessions will feature speakers and associates from the University of Sheffield Management School and Institute of Work Psychology, of which both are working at the cutting edge of organisational and work psychology. Upcoming sessions will cover topics which include dealing with unacceptable behaviour in the workplace, creating successful and adaptable work teams, as well as engaging with the challenges and opportunities of corporate social responsibility.

For further information contact

ESRC Press Office:

Notes for editors

  1. Job crafting - improving quality of work by engaging employees
    • Organiser: ConsultIWP, Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield
    • Date: Tuesday 16 March 07.30 - 10.00
    • Venue:  The Hilton, Victoria Quays, Furnival Road, Sheffield. S4 7YA.
    • Audience: For professionals as part of their work
    • For further information: Job crafting
  2. ConsultIWP at the University of Sheffield is home to one of the largest groups of Occupational Psychology Researchers in Europe. With access to the most up-to-date research and tools, ConsultIWP is a world leader in understanding the way people drive organisational effectiveness - and how this impacts the bottom line.  Since its inception in 2008, ConsultIWP has worked on over 100 commercial projects, testing each and every research theory and tool to ensure their commercial viability. 
  3. The Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council from 12 to 21 March 2010, alongside National Science and Engineering Week. Featuring some of the country's leading social scientists, the festival celebrates the very best of British Social Science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives - both now and in the future. The Festival of Social Science provides insight into research in a variety of formats; from traditional lectures and exhibitions to theatrical performances, film screenings and topical debates. The Festival of Social Science is aimed at a range of different audiences, including policy makers, business, the media, the general public and students of all ages. Press releases detailing some of the varied events are available at the Festival website .
  4. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC’s planned total expenditure in 2009/10 is £204 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes. You can now follow updates from the ESRC on Twitter, including new funding calls as they are posted, press releases, events and more.