This is part of an exploration of Power, Partnership, and Symmetry.
The relationship between an employer and an employee should truly be a partnership and we should count ourselves fortunate to live in a western society where legal and social structure generally support the ability to approach this relationship as such. Each side provides a needed service to the other. The employee provides their efforts, labour, and thoughtfulness, the employer provides pay, a positive work environment, and growth opportunities. That there are unfair and abusive relationships amongst some employees and their employers does not mean that the institution is essentially flawed. I remember working during the tech boom and seeing employees in the power position more than employers and many of them wielding abuses and acting as disrespectfully as many an employer.
Truly successful relationships between employer and employee are ones where both sides acknowledge and respect what the other offers and recognize that they must work to find something together that is fulfilling to both if the relationship is going to be healthy and mutually profitable. This doesn’t mean that the employer must meet all the needs of the employee but they can certainly acknowledge and facilitate those needs being met. Many employers will arrange a schedule that allows an employee to work and look after a family, or go to school, or have a second job that fulfills their desires for growth. A relationship where there is no wrestling for power but instead both sides are empowered to recognize, share, and work toward their needs is the most stable.
More on Friday…