Rewrite the Employment Contract

August 24, 2021


Author: Karl Schoemer

The OLD corporate ethic rewarded longevity and tenure.

The NEW corporate ethic rewards performance and outcomes.

The old unwritten contract exchanged compliance for job security: “You will give me a job for the rest of my life if I come in every day and do what you want, when you want it, and how you want it.” That contract doesn’t exist anymore. Neither the false promise of job security nor compliance serves the customers’ best interest.

Rewrite the employment contract.

Attendance is not a competitive advantage. Simply doing your job, the way you’ve always done your job, is no longer good enough. The very behaviors that for years got people promoted (keeping their heads down, mouths closed, and ideas to themselves) can now result in the company and the individual being left far behind.

No longer can we expect loyal, unquestioning compliance to be rewarded with cradle-to-grave job security. If you cling to the belief that the old contract still applies – or should apply – you are at greater risk with each successive change. You will diminish in value daily if you remain rooted to this outworn ideology. The only thing that protects you or the company is providing ever better outcomes for your customers.

Now, it’s all about performance. Outcomes trump effort.

The objective decisions, innovative approaches, and independent problem solving that in the past may have led to punitive actions are today coveted and sought after. The desire for unquestioning compliance has been replaced with the need for creative discontent. The new contract rewards creativity, innovation, problem solving, engagement, and customer focus.

How to succeed under the new contract:

• Accept that the old contract is history
• Bring value for the customer daily
• Think for yourself
• Offer solutions, not problems
• Help write the new contract





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