Linked – Reimagining The Employee-Employer Deal

“What Job Do Your Employees Hire You To Do?”

This is an interesting way to view the employer/employee relationship. Mostly because I’m willing to be most people in leadership and ownership have had one answer to this question – the paycheck.

Most of us have been taught that the deal between employers and employees is we do work, and they pay us for that work. If they don’t offer enough pay, we go somewhere that does. Eventually, that extended to benefits, especially quality insurance coverage, and in the tech boom that somehow became free lunch and foosball tables.

What we are starting to see, that Al makes clear in the article below, is that what employees want is both more, and less, than that. They want a workplace where they can learn and grow, that provides a living and fits with the rest of their life. The reality is that will be different for everyone. What “fits” into my life as someone without kids might look different than someone who has kids. But, as someone who values time dedicated to hobbies and outside interests, work that “fits” might look different than the childless person who has different goals than I do. A younger worker might value learning certain skills that they want to take forward in their career whereas older workers might value an opportunity to teach and help younger employees more than learning a ton of new skills, but maybe not. What I’ve described are fairly stereotypical desires but, as we all know, stereotypes do not apply to everyone.

Al offers a pretty simple solution to this confusion – ask. Why are your employees there now, and what would keep them there? Then match that with the kind of workplace you want to be. Don’t guess.

From the opposite perspective, as I go through the process of finding what I want to do next, this is something that is front-of-mind for me. Yes, I’m looking for work because making money is a necessary part of life. But, I’m also thinking about whether an employer offers me the things that make me want to hire them. Not everyone does right now, and that’s OK because I have enough savings that I don’t have to settle for something that won’t fit with what I want. Then again, if this process goes on for a long time, that need for a paycheck will alter what I’m willing to hire. This is also a reality, what an employee hires you for today is going to change eventually. I’ve left jobs in the past not because I was unhappy or even for more money. I’ve left jobs because my life changed and the things they offered me no longer fit with my life.

This is the power that more and more employees realize they have. To hire you as an employer and to fire you when you no longer fit their needs. If that bothers you, if that offends your sense of loyalty to the workplace, do me a favor. Go to Google News and search for “layoff”. Do a little light browsing and tell me what loyalty has to do with anything.

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