The relationship between an employer and its employees isn’t working according to Ben Casnocha, the former chief of staff at LinkedIn.
“It’s based on a dishonest conversation between the company and the employee,” Casnocha said at the recent Society for Human Resource Management’s 2015 Talent Management Conference & Exposition.
“The company talks about itself as a family, offering job security and training, but lays people off the moment stock prices demand it,” he said as reported by Roy Mauer of SRHM.
And the employees are at fault as well. “They show up saying, ‘I’m so excited to be here. I’m loyal for life.’ Then they leave the moment a better opportunity arises.”
How can this relationship be fixed?
Casnocha suggested creating a new value proposition that changes from the family model, where employers take care of people for life, which is no longer a reality, to a military style approach that considers employees allies on a tour of duty.
Oulined in his book written with with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh “The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age,” the philosophy has a time-based element. Much like the military that has set periods of time, so employment will be the same. The employee agrees to complete certain tasks over a set time and the employer provides the necessary training.
“The key to orchestrating successful tours of duty is the individual manager—that’s where the burden of talent management lies on a day to day basis,” Reid Hoffman told Josh Bersin of Forbes. “Our notion of a “Transformational” tour of duty is that upon completing a mission objective over a realistic period of time (usually 3-5 years), the employee will transform both his career and the company’s growth trajectory. This requires a deep knowledge of the employee’s goals and aspirations, which only his direct manager is likely to possess.
The authors point out that high-tech companies in Silicon Valley are already employing these techniques as they have stopped thinking of employees as family and are thinking about this as allies.