Could micro-tweaking be the key to staff retention?

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Micro-tweaking, the process of making small but regular changes to an employee's job description, is being touted as a method of keeping employees engaged and helping them stick with an employer

Anne Fulton, CEO of Career Engagement Group, wrote on her company’s blog that creating stickiness requires an understanding of what lights employee’s fires, their underlying personal motivators and drivers and how they want to use and develop their talents and follow it up with a little tweaking.

“Customising a career proposition for these employees by tailoring a career path and opportunities around their talents, values and motivators is the answer to retention and is easier than you think once you have insight to these key factors,” she wrote. “Often these employees are only looking for minor tweaks to their roles, or small opportunities to contribute more value, or use more of their hidden talents at work.”

Micro-tweaks to roles don’t need to cost a lot or be difficult to deliver, argues Fulton, but can have a major impact on the engagement and satisfaction for the employee, and “ultimately have a direct result on the stickiness of that employee”.

Antonia Haythornthwaite, BlueDot manager and Principal HR advisor, agreed and told HRM Online one of the reasons she promotes the idea of frequent progress discussions, rather than the annual performance review, is so that managers can really get to know their employees. 

“Constantly tweaking the role and providing meaningful opportunities for the employee to develop and contribute must be tailored to the employee's overall goals and drivers to have the greatest influence on engagement, performance and retention. So, the number and nature of the tweaks will depend on each individual employee – another thing that makes managing people so interesting (and frustrating),” she explained.

However, one HR manager, who HRM Online spoke to and wished to remain anonymous, warned that micro-tweaks can backfire.

“Employees can find them patronising or they will stay for a short period of time before they get bored with their pretty similar job and move on,” the manager said.

Do you agree micro-tweaking is helpful in making an employee stick with a company? Let us know in the comment section below.

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