The New Employer Compact
But how do you manage and incent employees with an entrepreneurial spirit?
“How do you take advantage and channel it into the corporate good?” Casnocha asked.
There once was a time when companies treated their employees like family, he said. But that doesn’t work—after all, you cannot fire family, and companies have to let people go all the time. Historically all companies have had a compact regarding employment, he said, but lifetime employment is no more.
“That’s no longer viable in today’s economy. Tours of Duty (TOD) has replaced it. In the TOD framework,” employers and employees have a mutual goal where they each make the other look good—up until the time they decide to separate, he said.
The employee has an idea of how they see their careers, so they articulate their goals. Then the manager describes what they want done for the company. Then the employee and the manager seek alliance on how to develop that alignment, so both “can flourish” and become more innovative and creative, Casnocha said.
“When you do that you establish trust,” he said. When you are explicit about the relationship, he said, “People stay longer.
Tour of Duty can increase retention at the company among entrepreneurial employees who want to seek opportunities,” he said. The compact becomes “we will make you more valuable—and the employee says in exchange, ‘I will make your company more adaptable—that’s the compact.’”
Casnocha also said innovative companies are beginning to realize that the old way of management is dead. “No matter how many smart people are at your companies, there are more smart people outside the company than inside the company.”
Organizations are encouraging their employees to tap those external brains outside the company “and the way you do that is through social media and the individual networks of your employees—not just senior management,” he said.
As an example, he pointed to the company Hubspot.
“They needed a speaker at their annual conference and they wanted to find a high-profile speaker, so they asked every employee to comb through their professional networks to find one,” he said. One woman discovered Arianna Huffington, whom she had never met, was following her on Twitter. When she asked Huffington if she was interested in speaking Huffington said yes—much to everyone’s surprise.
Casnocha encouraged executives to get their employees to “build rich, collective networks” on social media and to “celebrate those who are well connected and encourage those who are not. All of us need valuable network intelligence.”