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  • Writer's pictureOlivier S.E. Courtois

Have Employer-Employee Relations Become an Exercise in Mutual Zapping?

Today, it is very easy to subscribe or unsubscribe with one click. The same is true for organizations. More and more employees view their relationship with their employer in the same way. Is this something to be regretted? Do companies themselves not act in the same way with their employees?

Yet, I (still) meet employees looking for real commitment, and companies looking to create loyalty and long-term engagement.

Let's face it. The days of very long-term or even lifetime commitment are over. Business needs and individual aspirations are changing too fast for that. However, it is possible and desirable to create a strong bond of trust between employers and staff. This is done through the company's project: is it exciting?

Does my job allow me to feel useful, to surpass myself, to learn, to create interesting social links? Does it make me feel good, does it increase my (perceived) value, or on the contrary does it make me feel ashamed or at least indifferent, does it make me stagnate?

Matching employees' aspirations with the company's ambitions requires continuous work by the stakeholders involved (management, human resources, etc.). It also requires an alignment of leadership teams on the behaviors required from them to trigger a virtuous dynamic. The lack of enthusiasm at the bottom often stems from the lack of alignment and commitment at the top. And often, the root of the problem lies in the lack of deep and constructive dialogue at the top, in a context of mistrust and toxic power games.

In this regard, alignment and accountability from the top is paramount. Alignment on how to behave with the teams (vertical effectiveness) and how to think and act as one team (horizontal efficiency).

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