This post from Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn) has opened my eyes to rethinking the idea of family-type relationships in work environments:
Essentially, the idea is that companies are not families so it’s dumb to treat employees like we do. Families don’t “fire” their members yet we pretend employees will never leave and feel hurt if they do.
(Reid wrote extensively about this topic in his book, The Alliance)
Companies today should be treated more like all-star teams. There is a right position at the right time for each employee. Sometimes, the company grows (or shrinks) to where you’re not the best to fill any need for the company. Similarly, employees may outgrow a company.
All of that is natural.
As a manager, this approach is liberating. We can kindly discuss their future choices without judgment. We can truly be servant-leaders by supporting employees’ life journeys. Given we’re all going to have dozens (if not more) jobs in our lifetime now, this makes much more sense.
Best part of the article? They talk about the San Antonio Spurs as the type of organization that gets this new way of thinking about employment. Makes one proud.