Employment should be a mutually beneficial relationship and companies are most successful when that is true. A recent article in Fast Company talks about the simple way that companies can ensure they are successful, and it comes back to building up employees. Reid Hoffman, cofounder LinkedIn, and his collaborators Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh have written about this idea in the Harvard Business Review. “As allies, employer and employee try to add value to each other. The employer says, ‘If you make us more valuable, we’ll make you more valuable.’ The employee says, ‘If you help me grow and flourish, I’ll help the company grow and flourish.’”
It seems simple, but it does require a shift in thinking that will also adjust the company’s culture for the better. An arrangement like this comes with the expectation that sometimes you will build up your employees and make them so great, that they will be sought out by competitors. This is ok and expected. You will do what you can with your retention strategy and an understanding where the employee wants their career to go to keep that employee, but you also know that employees are not likely to be loyal to your organization for life.
This idea works and creates a more productive and positive workforce because whether you realize it or not, your employees are human. They will put forth more effort if they believe they are getting something equal or greater than their in return (and a paycheck is not enough). Additionally, as your employees grow and their skill sets advance, your company will become better as well.