Join Chris Yeh for an in-depth discussion in this video Introducing the Alliance, part of Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh on Creating an Alliance with Employees.
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- It used to be, the way that you did a career is you kind of picked an area that was interesting you, you found a great company, and you worked your way up in the company and that was, that progress was your lifetime achievement. Now, the world is actually changing such that companies can't offer stable employment. Employees have many different options for a great career which can include not just changing companies but changing function, and region, and a number of other areas, and that is very common across many industries, many professionals, many companies.
And indeed, it's a trend in that direction. The problem is that companies and their management style and employees relating to management have not updated. And so, they still talk to each other like it's a lifetime employment gig. Where the company says, we're gonna hire you, you're gonna be here forever. The employee says, oh yes, I'm intending to be here forever. And yet, they both know that that is not the case. As part of not being the case, it's the employer knows, well, it may or may not work out. The employee knows I may have other better opportunities as I'm going.
The company's business may change. And instead of talking openly and honestly with each other about this, they essentially still pretend that it's a lifetime employment. This erodes trust. This means that the employee says, well, I'm not really talking about the thing that may really be my career with you which means we don't really have trust with each other. The company is saying, well, I'm not really talking about this with you either, even though it may not work out this way and so therefore, I'm not bringing you into my trust circle as well.
And then, then they fail to coordinate, and they especially fail to coordinate over the long term because what's really important for both the company and for the employee is how do we both invest in our long term? The company as it goes forward with customers and products, you know, and services and how it evolves, the employee in terms of how they progress in their career, how they make economic progress, and really, they should be allies. - The only way to survive in today's world is to be adaptable, which means, you need adaptable people.
You need the kinds of individuals in your organization who are going to be entrepreneurial, who are willing to take risks, start new things, and try things that frankly, haven't been tried before. But it's hard to find and hire these people and it's even harder to hang on to them. That's where The Alliance comes in. The Alliance is a framework for attracting, retaining, and managing incredibly entrepreneurial employees, the kind of people who are gonna drive your business forward and transform it, as they transform their own careers.
- Really, they should be saying, look, here we are in this boat together, we should be investing in each other. And we recognize the world has changed, but here, now, we're gonna go and actually build something really interesting together. And what the company should say to the employee is I'm going to invest no longer in your lifetime employment but in your lifetime employability. By your having spent time here with me, you will become better positioned economically. You will have better opportunities. You will have better compensation.
You'll be able to navigate your career the way that you will want to go, where you want you to go and how you will get there. And what the employee should say to the company is say, look, I know that I may be here for a long time. I may be here for a small number of years, but either way, I should make my time here transformative to the company, where what I do really matters for how the company evolves. And then finally, with having established this alliance, by being open and honest and talking to each other, you can now have a lifetime relationship, and part of what can then happen, just as a university has alumni, companies can have alumni.
And those alumni can be part of the network for how a company now navigates the networked age.
Reid and Chris share specific insights from their own experiences with companies like PayPal, Kapost, and LinkedIn, and more.
- Defining a rotational, transformational, or foundational tour of duty
- How to identify each employee's values and aspirations
- Aligning employee, manager, and company goals
- Establishing and leveraging alumni networks