The changed circumstances of the new millennium will, necessitate a new relationship between employer and employee.
One in which learning has a central role.
I suggest that there are as an employee, 5 obligations you have to your employer and as an employer there are 5 obligations you have to your employee. These are obligations not rights. As an employee you must:
1. Add Value...An organization can only make a profit if the combined output of its employees exceeds its costs. Wages are only one aspect of these costs; others such as raw material, rents, power, marketing and promotion, transport, and borrowings are big factors also. But the cost you directly influence is your own.
The first rule the employee has to the company is to contribute more of the company than you cost. This is not measured in how many hours are put in, or how busy you are but how efficient you are. How much you put in versus how much you take out.
As an employee you must constantly look at creative ways in which you are able to reduce expenses and improve customer relationships and sales.
2. Act like a “self employed” contractor…. By thinking your self as the CEO of your own company for you have a contract with your supplier (your employer). You must continuously improve the quality of your product (your time and skills) so you are constantly in demand from your client (your employer).
The essence is to become a life long learner investing your time and energy to becoming the best you can be. If you as an employer are not constantly improving and researching your knowledge for the future you will in fact be falling behind those who are and will provide a more salable product in the future.
Do not wait to be trained but to research the requirements of the company in the future and ensure you are ready to provide the service that will support the vision and needs of your client. If you were to adopt this principle then should you find your self outside full employment you would already have developed the mindset to create your next position.
3. Focus on quality service…When you view yourself as self-employed. It makes you ask questions such as how I can serve my customer better. How can I help them achieve their objectives?
Your customer is the people who you are working with. It is your role to treat the customer as the people who support you in bringing home your income that supports your dreams. If you help them achieve their dream you will also achieve yours. Of course they must approach their position in the same way. Looking for ways to help each other become greater. If you find something a miss then fix it for self employed people don’t wait to be told they take responsibility for their own lives and outcomes. They do not waste time moaning about their company…They are the company and get on with whatever needs to be done.
4. Look for continuous improvement...Kaizen the Japanese word that has taken their nation to the top of the world. (.Kaizen is a little bit of improvement every day) A daily quest to get better every day. As an employee you simply have no choice in this it is improve or be left behind for change is constant and to not move ahead and improve is counter to the principles of the universe and you will be constantly slipping behind those who are seeking to be better tomorrow.
5. Embrace Change…The only constant in life is change and it is accelerating in work, in markets and in technology. Your company has to keep up with the constant changes in the market place, as we are experiencing in Asia at this present time. The key is to adapt quickly to the change and embrace the future with creative solutions to the variety of potential opportunities we are daily presented with.
The 5 obligations for the employer are the same as the employee.
1. Add value. While the employee is improving and speeding the process for your company. You as an employer must reward the employee for their contribution to your future. For in many instances they will be creating solutions that will make them redundant in one position as efficiency improves. Some of the rewards such as shorter hours for more money and more long-term security are the needs of the future employee. Some rewards in reinvesting in their education and retraining will give them the confidence in working with the future company as they move into the changing environment. Note I said some of the rewards, for all savings do not end up in the profit margin of the company. But as a company we have a social responsibility to support the people who are supporting our needs. When we ask the employer what his needs are and treat them as our customer (in fact they are a supplier of labor) we will be in a position to not only help them achieve their goals but align them to our goals as well so we all win.
2. Treat employees as partners…If we expect the employee to act as a self-employed person and become a knowledge worker who can solve their own problems and improve where they see is required. Then we need to treat them as equal partners in the future of the company. They need to participate directly in the values and roles and objectives of the organization. To achieve a high level of motivation people need to feel they are part of the team and then they will commit whole heatedly to the objectives of their organization.
3.Quality service…As the now self employed employees focus on quality service …quality conditions need to support them to achieve the results desired by their company. By understanding the needs of the employee and support them to achieve their objectives they will reciprocate and support their organization.
4. Continuous I improvement…. Kaizen is a 2-edged sword if the employees are expected to improve then as an organization we must support them to grow and improve as individuals also. How can everyone develop more of his or her own potential? I am reminded of the words of the famous US futurist Buckminster Fuller who said
“The reward for a job well done is a bigger job” Since we cannot predict the needs of the future we must develop the depth and width of the employee so we are able to be flexible and creative as we are faced with the changes.
5. Embrace change…We are asking the employee to create and embrace the changes needed to cope with the demands of the future. This creates uncertainty for the employer. We need to develop their abilities to cope with the changes in the form of education and learning. By improving their learning skills we give them the gift to cope with the changes coming their way. There is a social responsibility of the company to ensure the families of the employees are coping with the demands of the changing world, for the next generation employees are living in the same houses as the current employees. We are responsible for the education of the next generation of employees. It is the role of the companies not to wait for the government to develop the workers but for the company to take responsibility for the development of their people into the area that they wish them to move.
Essentially these 5 parallel responsibilities will redefine the roles of worker and company. Broadening the wealth of the companies and the lives of their employees to create wealth and personal fulfillment.
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