Jan 20, 2011

Future of Employment is not Employment

There have been some different things that have been running through my head. First there was this post triggered by JP and Debu's blogs. In addition there was a conversation I had with my friend Jayanth, and then there was Dub's post on employee engagement and maybe it's just economics - and some other conversations with traditional HR folks and what they expect from employees.

So here's my conclusion: employment as we know it - is broken.

The employer-employee psychological contract is coming apart and we all pretend that it's not an issue.

People are loyal to various other factors that the "employment brand" connotes. The increasing consumerisation of society has meant people want to work for firms that are considered "cool" right now. It was Microsoft some eons back, Google then, Apple now, and who knows that then.

Some people are loyal to their profession. When I was a HR Manager in a professional service firm - which did SAP consulting projects - it was pretty evident that if you hired a SD MM specialist and didn't have a project for him for a couple of months he would up and leave - irrespective of the fact that you had a great "employment brand". He wouldn't think of changing his skills as long as there was a market for it.

Some people are loyal to their bosses/ mentors - and follow them to whichever firm they go.

There is research that now more and more people want their brands and their workplace to be part of something larger than just being a market leader.

And sometimes they just want to be connected more to people.

Sure there are various kinds of industries employing various kinds of people - and there will be many people just getting by. Working for a paycheck. Waiting for the clock to strike the shift time - and to get out.

Those people are not going to be the one who're going to give you great ideas and make your firm more competitive.

So if you want to hire the best for the roles you have maybe you have to tear up that organogram and job description and how you want them to work. You have to tear up your performance management system. Get rid of that industrial era mindset to "work"

Because in the Organization 2.0 employment will not be anything like the employment that we know.