Job Sculpting: The Art of Managing People

Recruitment is one of the toughest components of human resource management. However, senior managers acknowledge that besides hiring, keeping employees in an organization is even more complicated. It is argued that every organization has ever recruited the best talents who in some point departed unexpectedly. In most instances, corporations give a response that creates an impression that such employees have landed on better employment opportunities. A twelve-years survey shows that a significant proportion of workers quit their employment owing to negative aspects of the organization. In this regard, the research indicates that such employees cite executives’ inadequate understanding of the psychology of work satisfaction. Such managers have a presumption that employees with high performance are often satisfied and happy in their jobs, which is not the case. However, the fact is that robust skills in the workplace do not translate to work satisfaction among employees.

The present-day middle-aged employees, especially those with MBA, enter the job market with high expectations to meet their targets. Such workers are education orientated to the extent that they believe in succeeding in any virtual job. However, the fact is that employees can potentially perform if the underlying jobs match their life interests. Their passion for specific jobs ought to be deeply embodied in life interests for workers to deliver to their expectations. Also, employees can meet their expectations if their job interests are entwined with personality, grounded on passions, and most importantly, emotionally driven. Practically, the interest of an employee does not determine success, but rather, the activities that potentially make them happy in life. Happiness, in this regard, is critical since it determines the extent of employee commitment and dedication while executing responsibilities at the workplace. The aspect keeps the workforce engaged, thus preventing them from quitting.

The research shows that the life interest that is prevalent in an employee starts manifesting at a childhood stage. This aspect develops to adulthood where it can easily be noticed from a person’s everyday activities. However, present-day human resource management practices employ principles of “job sculpting.” The terminology refers to the art of matching the deeply embodied interests of an employee with the nature of the job. It is an approach that human resource executives use to retain their employees by assigning them duties that match their interests. However, job sculpting is challenging considering that it requires the managers to evaluate the psychological aspects among the employees critically. It implies that managers assume both psychologist and detective roles in implementing job sculpting in their organizations. The most challenging issue is the fact that many people do not know and are not capable of identifying their deeply embodied interests. In most instances, people follow career advice from their mentors. Therefore, they end up pursuing other people’s interests which makes them incapable of matching careers with their life interests.

The implementation of job sculpting practices is challenging to the human resource personnel. This is because a person cannot determine life interests and career options at an early stage. A significant proportion of employees do not choose their careers based on deeply embodied life interests. In this case, the career patterns of parents and closely-related people influence a person’s career choice. For instance, siblings may develop interests in career choices of their parents and guardians. A significant proportion of people end up following the wrong careers paths owing to their considerations. The research shows that young people follow prestige and financial reward of specific careers. As such, they do not consider whether such jobs will make them happy in their future workplaces. The ultimate consequence is frustration and inability to meet employer expectations.

Corporate managers mess up career development procedures. This aspect adversely impacts on employees’ growth and development in the workplace. An assumption that workers are always satisfied, for instance, is a reason why career development always goes wrong. Some employees rise the employment rank because they demand from the executives. This aspect implies that managers fail to consider critical factors such as skills and capability to perform the task. However, the research shows that stretch assignments do not determine employees’ life embodied interests. In this case, workers may have stretched skills and competencies in different roles. Employees end up leaving the organization if they believe that the employer is not utilizing their talents. Also, the workforce is dissatisfied and uncommitted where employers do not match their stretched skills with deeply embodied life interests. However, managers worry that job sculpting may render them to play psychologist roles.

The best performance review procedure for job sculpting is Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS). The technique uses a measuring system that evaluates the performance of an employee about the underlying patterns. The measure of behavioral trends of workers, therefore, makes BARS the most suitable review procedure in this scenario. Managers can determine changes in employee behaviors and their effects on performance or productivity. In this case, the rating of behavioral patterns is an approach that is used to identify practices that have positive impacts on employee productivity. As such, the technique is beneficial since it is a tool to merge jobs with desirable employee behaviors.