Crafting an interesting job: Stimulating an active role of older workers in enhancing their daily work engagement and job performance

Dorien Kooij, Helen Nijssen, P. Matthijs Bal, Daphne van der Kruijssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Since workforces are aging rapidly worldwide, older workers need to work longer. Therefore, this study investigated active ways through which older workers shape their job to age successfully at work. We build on the lifespan psychology literature and the activation hypothesis to argue that activating workdays, characterized by high work pressure and high autonomy, stimulate older workers to engage in job crafting behaviors aimed at making their jobs more interesting (i.e., interests crafting) rather than in job crafting behaviors aimed at lowering their work pressure (i.e., work pressure crafting). Interests crafting in turn enhances the work engagement and job performance of older workers. We conducted a daily diary study among 128 older workers and found that activating workdays were indeed positively associated with daily interests crafting, and that daily interests crafting was positively related to daily work engagement and daily job performance. In contrast, we found that although
daily work pressure was positively associated with daily work pressure crafting, an activating workday was not, and engaging in work pressure crafting was negatively associated with daily work engagement and job performance. These results demonstrate that older workers can be stimulated daily to engage in effective job crafting behaviors to make sure that they are motivated and productive members of the workforce.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-38
JournalWork, Aging and Retirement
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

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