29 Oct The Employer-Employee Relationship
We’ve all seen the global changes in the employer-employee relationship, with employees constantly on the search for new working opportunities and employers expecting staff to work longer and harder than ever before with diminishing job security. To me this raises the question of trust, if both the employees and employers expect their relationship to be short lived, why should they invest in each other?
Many organisations are attempting to address this issue in different ways but I think one of the most effective ways is to view the relationship as an alliance. In a recent HBR article by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh they explore this concept using LinkedIn as an example; LinkedIn give their employees 4-year contracts with a 2-year evaluation called a ‘tour of duty’. From this model LinkedIn obtains driven, engaged employees striving to make an impact during their short time and their employees, while they won’t get lifetime employment, can increase their lifetime employability. They each benefit and invest in each other over the course of their relationship and when one side no longer adds value to the relationship then it’s time for them both to move on to a new alliance.
Take the relationship between a clownfish and a sea anemone, both parties benefit from the alliance. The anemone protects the clownfish from predators, while the clownfish keeps the anemone clean. This symbiosis is vital to the survival of both species, and although the life span of a clownfish is relatively short, both animals invest in each other.