“We cannot stop employees from leaving unless we have a plan to make them stay.”
The following paper analyzes an article titled “Job Sculpting: The Art of Retaining Your Best People” written by James Waldroop in association with Timothy Butler and first published in 1999. Waldroop and Butler are renowned career experts and according to them; the business world is encountering a war of talent, and retaining skilled people; it is imperative to comprehend the specific engaging tactics and information that could be further utilized to customized the careers. Evidently, it is indispensable to entrench life interest into a job to retain the skilled individuals with an organization. And of course, such interests are not fun hobbies (like opera or video games, etc.) by any chance instead it is about passion and profoundly catered emotions. Such drives are essential to enhance the happiness factor of a job that further leads the talented employees to the next and more enduring level of motivation and commitment.
Phenomenally, most of the life interest commenced in early years of life and had deep roots in one’s childhood; such interests and passions are resilient and stay with a person in different forms throughout their lives. In this context job sculpting is a way that equips people with a job that provides them an opportunity to articulate their keen life interests. For this purpose, managers have to play an active role because this approach signifies the absolute level of attention that could help managers to address minor details about their team through which the process of observation and comprehension takes place. The complexity occurs when management tackles with an employee that himself has a vague understanding of his profoundly embedded life interest. Such situations are not rare because most of the people have spent their careers’ lives according to the expectancy of others that in turn blurs their perspective. Similarly, several talented individuals tarnished their life interests by following mundane career advice that asserts the need to “do what they are good at.”
Life interests are more significant factors as compared to values and abilities to implicate career engagement and satisfaction. In several circumstances, an individual may perform well at the job and getting rewards, but without self-gratification and contentment, no one can stick to job longer. And therefore embedding life interests in a post is the key to retaining the talented employees. Waldroop and Butler devise eight life interests throughout their article which include the application of technology that can engage techno and geeks to their jobs. Other interests embrace the concepts of quantitative analysis that are effective for numeric-lovers; meanwhile, theory development and conceptual thinking is engaging for people who prefer abstraction of ideas and conceptualization.
Moreover, creative production allows employees to indulge the novelty of a project, on the other hand counseling and mentoring is an efficient opt for the individuals who enjoy their roles as coach and teachers. Likewise, managing people and relationship is a smart embedding to involve the employees who desire to communicate and manage teams and workforce. Enterprise control, on the contrary, provides a full charge of a unit to an employee; such units can be a particular business wing, division or department based on the expertise and scope of the job. Influence through language and ideas, on the other hand, deals with more interpersonal skills and allows an individual to communicate their proficiency through presentations, negotiations, and persuasion as well as storytelling. Such entrenchments are adequate for the employees who love speaking and writing.
A performance review can play a significant role to elevate the efficacy of overall job sculpting process. Evidently, the performance review is a formal conversation regarding the performance and development of an employee. Throughout the report discussion; achievement of past and plan of action for the upcoming period are reviewed. By including the aspect of job sculpting in the performance review session; employees and management together can mitigate the performance gaps that in turn augment the employees’ satisfaction and consequently retention. For this purpose managers and employees, both can partake to enhance the efficiency of the process. Managers have to listen to the conversation of employees cautiously and keep probing them for attaining further and in-depth details. Similarly, employees can play an active role by ascribing their life interest through comprehensive writing that will provide management with a written assessment to evaluate the achievements, objectives and skill areas of employees that need to be developed as well as an action plan to fulfill and expand the goals for the next performance period. Through this approach management will have two different assessments from two different perspectives and these outlooks will assist the managers to examine employees and supervisor’s assessment reports comparatively.
By incorporating performance review with job sculpting process; management goals will become more realistic and assessable. Without integration of both parties a job sculpting procedural is incomplete and incompetent. Employees are the real asset of an organization and hiring and retaining them are tough tasks. Therefore, job sculpting is an efficient process to diminish the employee turnover rate. Ideally, it is recommended for managers and employees to converse about profoundly embedded life interests throughout performance reviews because in this way they can work mutually and customize upcoming projects accordingly. Skills have the potential to disperse in different directions, and if the subject direction is not right, it may boost the peril of dissatisfied employees. And it is a massive risk for any organization to take because employees and their loyalty, talent, and knowledge, as well as energy, is the driving factor for any business and organizational prosperity. Therefore to evade the risk of losing most precious asset; organizations are recommended to implement job sculpting in their business practices.
Waldroop, Timothy butler James. “Job Sculpting: The Art of Retaining Your Best People.”
Harvard Business Review, 31 July 2014, hbr.org/1999/09/job-sculpting-the-art-of-