Partnerships, Now and Forever

By Andrew Wood, Senior Consultant, Asia Talent

Even after the recent tumultuous times our industry has endured, it is surprising (and disappointing) to observe employers and employees being primarily focused on employment as being no more than “what’s in it for me”! This is dangerous thinking as our industry is small and word travels both ways.

Surely it is time we focused more on forming effective partnerships and a collegiate culture between employees and employers that will facilitate growth for both parties. These elements should be vital in the assessment of vacancies and the performance within those roles, by employers and employees.

Longer term, rather than shorter term, thinking and planning by employers and employees should lead to more appropriate assessments of roles and individuals by both parties. Thinking and planning should go way beyond “I want a body to do this job” and “I just want the money” for either party. Creating a core base of skilled, experienced and motivated employees is surely the goal of all thinking employers and, similarly, for employees the prospect of being a valued employee in an organisation with appropriate values and vision.

Such partnerships should equate to shared values as they are vital to the success of an organisation and, therefore, the employees. Employers and employees have a (often unstated) partnership which should equate to “if one works hard and does well, the other – having also worked hard – does well” Does that really apply in the majority of employer employee relationships? Sadly, in far too many instances the thought process from employers seems to be: “I just want someone to occupy the work space and get the job done”. While employees too often express the thought “the title is great and the money is 2% more than I’m getting now” Career planning and personal development are not considered by either party.

The CEO of a company I joined asked me, after the first month of me settling-in, “what can I do to help you? We are in this partnership together”. This was, to me, a very powerful and motivating message of support which stayed with me for the duration of my lengthy stay with that company.

While not advocating the “partnership for life” philosophy, I am a firm believer in both employers and employees approaching the task of vacancy filling from a more measured and longer term assessment. Not all partnerships (no matter what the kind) last forever. When thinking about change is it worthwhile remembering to neither close a door not burn a bridge.  Our industry is small and we may need each other again.