Why the key to employee satisfaction is reciprocity 

By Haylin Belay

The Brief
As communication technology improves, a greater number of professionals are untethering themselves from the office. But does a world of digital nomads mean the breakdown of relationships between employers and employees? Yes and… no. 
employee satisfaction

According to Switch & Shift’s Shawn Murphy, whether you’re in or out of the office, the company or organization of the future is still one founded on mutually beneficial relationships. However, the idea that a company should work for its employees is actually relatively new, and some employers are a little slow on the uptake. As Murphy points out:

“Historically, the relationship with the organization was considered to be a privilege: ‘You get to work for us, the organization, and for that you should feel grateful; you get to contribute to our brand and make it stronger.'”

Of course, the unprecedented levels of communication and access to information provided by the Internet mean that professionals are exhibiting less and less patience with companies that don’t catch on:

“The Internet and social media have made information widely available, a powerful equalizer. Employees can choose for themselves whether or not an organization will help them achieve their personal goals.”      

Networking experts have stressed that giving, rather than taking, forms the basis of strong relationships, and that goes whether those relationships are internal or external to a business. Today’s workers are simply expecting reciprocity from their employers in terms of professional development, and they’ll go wherever such relationship capital is most highly valued. 

“Today’s workers expect reciprocity from their employers, and they’ll go wherever such relationship capital is most highly valued.” 

In his post, Murphy describes numerous tactics for fostering these mutually beneficial relationships. It comes down to engagement; employees need to feel connected to their work and to their leaders. Employers can nurture their team members by prioritizing collaboration and helping them achieve their personal goals. They’ll reap the rewards in more productive, effective and committed employees—in other words, in a slew of mutually beneficial relationships.  

“What is needed,” Murphy writes, “is a viewpoint that is something like this: We, the business and the employees, need to both thrive in order to generate the value we both seek.” No bosses, no office drones—just a network of strong relationships among people working to achieve their goals together.

Haylin Belay is a freelance writer and blogger based in New York City. She is a frequent contributor to the RelSci blog.

RelSci is a technology solutions company that helps create competitive advantage for organizations through a crucial yet vastly underutilized asset: relationship capital with influential decision makers.

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