Although I am certainly no scientist, I do understand and value the symbiotic relationship which describes special interactions between two different species. Sometimes the relationship is harmful, most times it is beneficial (i.e., a spider building a web on a tree). Symbiotic relationships are essential to many organisms and ecosystems, and balance between the two can only be achieved by working together.
Think about this scientific concept in terms of employment: in exchange for completing responsibilities required by the employer, the employee receives a paycheck. Both the employer and the employee benefit and business symbiosis is achieved.
In well-balanced relationships, boundaries and expectations exist. Employers create opportunity. Employees embrace opportunity. Established roles and responsibilities help maintain the mutual relationship.
Enter: My career is my responsibility. (#myCmyR)
This phrase creates boundary definition by helping individuals maintain focus and balance on both sides of the employment relationship.
My career is my responsibility…
- represents an approach to work
- embodies a philosophy
- requires personal accountability
- embraces excellence
- creates culture differentiation
If each person in a symbiotic relationship is focused on taking personal responsibility for their words, decisions, actions and behaviors, the combined relationship works!
- It’s more than a catch phrase. The culture differentiating philosophy takes intentional effort on the part of the employer. Elements of a company’s culture, like attitude and tone, are set at the top. Creating an environment of opportunity can engage and motivate employees. In this type of culture, expectations are clearly articulated, authentic trust and transparency is fostered, and employees are empowered to actively participate in their employment. Culture dynamics like these equally balance the duty of responsibility between the employer and employee.
- If you’re in, be ALL IN. Employers first must establish the company’s character, then ensure alignment across the organization. A My career is my responsibility culture will only be successful if Leaders across the organization buy-in. Systems and processes must also correspond. As examples, if your disciplinary approach is punitive and management-driven, it likely doesn’t foster self-reflection and problem solving from the employee. When Leaders begin to manage independently by exception instead of respecting established policies and deadlines, employees begin to expect everything be treated as an exception.
- Do what you say you’re going to do. When employers don’t follow-through, employees get discouraged, and the employment relationship fractures and becomes unbalanced. An example, when a bonus or a promotion is promised around achieving metrics and the employer is slow to respond or doesn’t respond once the goal is met…catastrophic failure! Trust has been broken, and it may not easily be rebuilt. Leaders, do what you say you are going to do…always!
The My career is my responsibility approach brings balanced symbiosis to a culture when the organization, and individuals within the organization, commit to personal responsibility, accountability and excellence. What is your personal philosophy on achieving employment symbiosis?
Up next…the employee perspective.