Large, for-profit corporations are experiencing difficulty in retaining their most talented workers (Hay, 2002). Indications in current research support this trend may continue well into the foreseeable future (Autry and Daugherty, 2003; Johnsrud and Rosser, 2002; Newman and Maylor, 2002). The cost of replacing an employee averages 1-1/2 times the annual salary of that employee (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2003). However, replacing the more professional and executive people can cost as much as 7 times the annual salary of the individual (Thatcher, Stepina and Boyle, 2002). There are also intrinsic costs of losing the most talented of the workers, beyond the monetary factors (Panchak, 2003).
Organizational productivity is closely tied to employee motivation (Gunner-Vaughn, 2003). A key factor of employee motivation is the matching of job duties to worker interests. Job sculpting (Butler and Waldroop, 1999) is a 21st century technique used to shape jobs into a match with worker interests. Eight deeply embedded life interests have been identified as holding the key to unlocking a persons passion and desire for their lifes work. These interests are what drive a person to engage in preferred activities when the choice is completely their own (Butler and Waldroop, 1999).
Job design is a concept that is nearly a century old, first introduced by germinal researchers Taylor (1911) and Gilbreth (1911). The original intent was to increase productivity and efficiency for an organization. At the same time greater rewards could be given to the worker with resultant bottom line profit increases. The evolution of the job design process leads to job sculpting.
The benefit for the profit-seeking corporation is job sculpting ignites a passion in people for their specific job and tasks within that job position. Motivation increases and positive morale flourishes when this practice is implemented. Job satisfaction is a primary outcome of this process. Job satisfaction has been linked to greater retention rates of employees. However, there has not been a study performed that correlates the effect of job sculpting to the retention objective of employees.
The research design for this study will be a survey instrument created specifically for this correlation. The survey will attempt to measure whether or not managerial initiated job sculpting techniques would have a retention effect for technology workers.
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