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The New Deal - It’s Time For an Evolved Social Contract

It’s safe to say we’ve long outgrown the traditional employer-employee relationship in which the job interview was likened to a first date, followed by a blind promise of lifelong loyalty neither party is likely to uphold. The old social contract between employer and employee is no longer valid. Today, there are no pensions, wages are underwhelming, and many companies are perfectly comfortable laying off staff as soon as their profits dip below a certain margin. Today’s workforce is not willing to stake their futures on an organization that fails to offer them the security, fair treatment, and adequate wages enjoyed by previous generations. 

I propose a new social contract based on transparency, mutual value creation, and a long-term partnership. Consider it an ongoing courtship, based on both parties choosing to opt in. This level of expectation-setting conscious coupling and uncoupling reduces the likelihood of either party being caught off guard. It allows for real-time adjustments based on the employee/employer dynamic and the business landscape. This generative partnership requires a degree of maturity from both sides, focusing on optimizing time, resources, and purpose to add value for both parties to create wins/wins instead of power games based on ego and control.

To orchestrate this shift, organizations will need to ensure mechanisms for both parties to access and add value quickly and continue to positively impact each other in the broader ecosystem even when not formally engaged. Intelligent organizations understand that today's employee could be tomorrow's client, brand ambassador, talent referrer, or even a boomerang employee. 

Throughout my experience, I've observed numerous untapped value sources that the organization and its employees can provide each other. To learn more about these and the new social contract, you can check out chapter 3 of my book, The Flourishing Effect. 

We also discuss the new social contract in these recent podcast episodes:

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