By admin
Posted on: 2013-10-13 Uncategorized

The job employees hire their company to do

Wordcount: 564                          Reading time: 2’30”

Mike Manager hired a new saleswoman, Sally Seller.

Mike had prepared clear hiring criteria. Excellence in selling, resilience and an outgoing personality were his top three. The job description was clear, the incentive scheme was clear, and the expectations were clear.

Three years later, Sally filled in the employee survey. Like most of her colleagues, she ticked the boxes for low motivation, that less than 30% of her capabilities were used, and that she was looking for another job.

SSC_3651-aMost companies know what they are hiring their staff for; and the remuneration package offered in return.

Too few companies, and too few employees, understand sufficiently well the job employees hire the company to do for them. Yet until companies fully grasp this side of the coin; how the company is also a tool hired by employees to do specific jobs; companies will battle with retention, motivation and talent issues.

Mike Manager hired a new saleswoman, Selene Seller.

But this time would be different. He’d been talking to R&D, and had understood innovation. Understood that everything can be seen as a tool people hire to get some job done. Mike saw that the hiring process went both ways. He was hiring Selene as a tool to do the job of building business. And Selene was hiring Mike and his company as a tool to do some of her jobs better.

He asked Selene what her criteria were. What job was she hiring Mike and his company for in return.

“That’s a hard one, Mike. I guess I I’m hiring the company to meet a few of my needs. I need to know that there’s a purpose behind what I do. I need to have sufficient autonomy. And finally, mastery. I need support so that I grow, so that I keep doing better what I do.”

Mastery. One of the top three motivators. Mike’s company does the job of developing mastery when it does with excellence the following three jobs for Selene:

  • The “size of her job” is just slightly “bigger” than Selene. She does almost everything really well, with just enough “gap” to spur her development.

  • Mike’s company gives her the learning experiences just when she can use them to close that gap.

  • Mike’s company gives her the right support before and after learning. So that she activates her new learning, i.e., transfers learning into behaviour.

Doing the job of supporting learning activation is a big one that is almost fully up to the company. Most of what needs to be true lies only in the company’s control. For example, giving Selene timely and useful feedback on how she is doing activating new learning.

SSC_3651-cThree years later, Selene filled in the employee survey. She ticked the top boxes for motivation, that 90% of her capabilities were used in her work, and that she loved her company. She, Mike and the Organisation Innovation task force keep researching “what jobs are the staff hiring the company for.” Constantly understanding better the very diverse jobs their very diverse staff hire the company for. Constantly innovating to better do the job staff hire the company for.

If you want to read more about disruptive innovation, see Clayton Christensen’s books and articles. To read more about how to apply it to business structures and processes, have a look at, and keep an eye on this blog.