John Akerson's Thoughts

Business, technology and life

5 Ingredients of a Successful Job Relationship

Relationships and Jobs each need certain ingredients to be successful. Some of them are necessary because if they are compromised, the relationship can be broken – and if they are compromised, the relationship might never be the same. The most important 5 ingredients, in no particular order are Chemistry, Trust, Honesty Communication and Respect. Jobs and relationships can get along without these qualities, but they shouldn’t.

Chemistry: Every relationship needs chemistry and every job needs it too. There must be initial chemistry. I like you, you like me. I want you, you want me. If you don’t have any spark with your employer, your managers, your peers, and the people you manage, change your situation. Without that sweet spark, without that feeling of chemistry for your job and your employer, the job is a dull drain on your psyche. If you are in this situation, either you won’t last, or your job won’t last. Find one that will. This is the first ingredient on this list, and it is necessary for a people relationship and necessary for an employee/employer relationship, but it isn’t necessarily the most important.

Trust: Every relationship needs trust. You need to trust your employer. You need to know that the things the employer promises – things that include safety, benefits, compensation and employment conditions – those things are going to be here. If you cannot trust your employer, and if they cannot trust you – that is a good sign that you have reached the right time to end the relationship.

Honesty: Every relationship needs honesty. This is a complex simplicity. Your employer has to say what it means and mean what it says. If your employer tells the public that it will not offshore jobs, then it cannot simultaneously contract with companies who nod, wink and deliver code written by their offshore operation. If your company says that it is going to keep people, it cannot simultaneously downsize. Your company needs to honor the spirit of what it says. You must also. You must provide the expertise, experience, knowledge, and abilities that are represented by your resume. You must provide the hours that you commit to, and you must exemplify the professional under the conditions that you agreed to. You should do what you say you will do. If you cannot, you should find another company. If your company cannot, they should not make the claims. If they do, you should find another job.

Communication: Every relationship needs communication. You must communicate to your employer and your employer must communicate to you. You must hear what your employer does and does not want, and you must tell them what you do and do not want. You must hear what your employer is and is not going to do, and you must tell your employer what you are and are not going to do. Communication requirements go beyond these simple details. You must communicate with your peers, your managers, and your subordinates. They must all communicate with you. If you are doing well or poorly, you should hear it. If your managers, peers and/or subordinates are doing well, or poorly, they should hear it from you. There should be no surprise firings, no surprise promotions, no surprise demotions, and no surprise successions at the top. You should not hear about your company being sold from the media on a Monday morning after you put in a request for a vacation the previous Friday. You should not tell them on a Friday that you will be working elsewhere the following Monday.

Respect: All of these combine to form a healthy respect. Respect is a delightful collection of admiration, deference; consideration and thoughtfulness are characteristics between employer and employee. It is healthy for the employee, for the employer and for any two people in a relationship. If you have honesty, trust, communication and chemistry, respect is pretty easy. You might be able to respect a company that you have no chemistry with – but maybe not. The employer is has a right to feel the same way.

All of these ingredients make it much easier to find and feel passion for your job, for your career. All of these ingredients make it easier for your employer to have passion for you as an employee.  Do you have these in your job relationship?  Are you trying to find them in your relationship?

What do you think?


September 2, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. John – very well said. The root and sustainablity is rooted in a true, bonded relationship. Without going to Webster’s, I think it is rooted in all you stated – honesty, trust, communication, and the essense of chemistry – and has to be mutual. Only from there is the natural process of mutual respect.

    Comment by David | September 4, 2009 | Reply

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