Think about this…
Nobody really works for you. Even if you are a great boss. The sooner company leaders, male or female, understand this, the sooner they can begin creating a more engaged workforce.
Now, the business leader may think they are providing their employee a place of employment and a job to perform for the company. They may be providing them with fair and equitable compensation in exchange for the work they do.
And, of course, they sign their paycheck.
But, in truth, the reason why people come to work everyday is for themselves. They do it to acquire a certain quality of life for themselves and their family.
Everyone truly works for themselves. They work with everyone else.
I’m wondering how workplaces would be different if employers set the expectation that people they employ truly work for themselves.
If this were the approach and the expectation, each person in the relationship, the employee and the employer, would have to take responsibility for the relationship and the expected job performance.
And, most importantly they would view each other as peers.
How would this change the workplace? Here are a couple of ways:
- The individual employee would take more responsibility for their job because they would see themselves as working for themselves within a role in the company. I believe this would raise the level of ownership the employee takes and the commitment they have to doing the best job possible.
- The employee would also know that how they approach their job and the added value they bring to the company will impact their short-term salary and benefits package, as well as future advancement opportunities.
- The employer would respect the employee more because they would see their skills, talents and how they contribute to the overall performance of the company instead of viewing them as a payroll expense who’s every hour needs to be managed.
- With this greater respect comes more openness to listening to ideas for improving work processes or company policies which will allow the employee to feel more valued, creating a more engaged workforce that should create a symbiotic, upward spiral of collaboration.
In this approach the employer and the employee would work together to identify the job performance criteria, the expected results to be achieved from the position and each would understand how the contribution of that role impacts the success of the company.
It is in this process they can discuss the parameters of responsibility and decision making authority and come to an understanding together that will empower the employee.
One of my clients did this exact process with their new receptionist. He turned over their entire initial customer experience to the person who answers the phones and greets people when they first come to the company offices. Her title was changed to “Director of First Impressions.” When I walked into the office for my very first meeting with this business prospect, I was greeted with a menu of soft drinks to select from as if I was offered an exclusive wine list at a fine restaurant. It was truly a unique “first impression” experience.
What do you think of this philosophy? Is this philosophy, that always employees work “for” themselves and “with” the company they are employed by, just semantics? Or will it, can it, create a more engaged workforce?
I think it can.
It’s a simple shift in thinking, don’t you think?
president of Weisman Success Resources, is a business coach and consultant specializing in “Creating Championship Teams.” Skip spent 20 years in sports management during which he served as president of five minor league professional baseball teams. Early in his baseball management career he became Minor League Baseball's youngest general manager at the age of 26. Twice his teams were recognized as "Organization of the Year," once each by "The Sporting News" and "Baseball America." Skip currently writes a column for the Hudson Valley Business Journal in his hometown area of Poughkeepsie, New York. He has a b.s. in communications and a master's degree in Sports Administration from Ohio University. See www.weismansuccessresources.com.