《聯盟世代》（The Alliance）的共同作者班．卡斯諾查（Ben Casnocha），說明為什麼員工應該對主管誠實說出自己的職涯目標。
例如，如果我是出版社的編輯，但我也有興趣學習Ruby on Rails語言，這是個熱門的新程式設計架構，因為我其實想轉行成為程式設計師，到時我勢必要離開目前的工作。我是否要坦白告訴主管，我想要培養這項技能，即使這項技能對我目前的工作沒有幫助？也許不該說出來。如果我不信任我的主管，如果我不認為主管會站在我的立場，思考我的長期職涯，我可能就不會說出來。不說出來，就表示我不能得到主管有關如何培養這項技能的建議。
Sarah Green: Hi, I'm Sarah Green. I am talking today with Ben Casnocha about The Alliance, his new book with Reid Hoffman. Ben, thanks so much for coming in.
Ben Casnocha: Thank you, Sarah.
Sarah Green: So in the book, you begin by saying that the current employer-employee compact is broken. Why do you make that argument?
Ben Casnocha: Yeah. We argue the employment relationship is broken because for so long companies offered lifetime employment. They treated their employees like family. That's no longer affordable in this era of globalization and technological change. And at the same time, what a lot of companies have done in response is treat all of their employees like free agents and minimized the employer/employee relationship which erodes trust and loyalty. So we think there's a third way forward -- that a company should stop treating their employees like family or like free agents and start thinking of their employees as allies.
Sarah Green: So when you talk about an employer-employee alliance, what does that actually look like?
Ben Casnocha: Sure. An alliance, both sides, are invested in each other. The company is invested in the employee, and the employee is invested in the company. The employee tells the company, if you make my career more adaptable -- if you invest in my career transformation, I will invest in making the company more adaptable in its industry. And the company in turn tells the employee, if you make our company more adaptable – if you complete a tour of duty at this company and help us adapt to the future, we will invest in your career. We will transform your career trajectory. We will make your LinkedIn profile more impressive, even if you someday leave our company.
Sarah Green: So I'd like to pause for a moment on the phrase “tour of duty,” because that's a phrase that you've talked a lot about in HBR. When you're talking about that kind of concept in terms of how to structure a career, what do you really mean by that?
Ben Casnocha: In an era where lifetime employment's over, you have to have a new model for organizing the term of employment. And in order to rebuild trust at work, we think it's most effective to build trust incrementally. As opposed to saying, I'm going to pledge lifelong loyalty to working at this company, the employee says, I'll sign up for a specific tour of duty with a specific mission objective. I'll sign up to complete a given project. I'll sign up to ship this product. I'll sign up to build this team. And I expect this project to take two to three to four to five years.
And the manager says, OK. If you complete that mission objective, we will make sure that at the end of that tour of duty, you will have built the following career skills. You will have built the following experiences. You will have grown your network in a certain kind of way. And at the end of that tour, when that mission objective has been accomplished, both sides come together again -- the manager and employee -- and talk about whether it makes sense for the employee to do another tour of duty at the company with a new mission objective that's also mutually beneficial. A tour that benefits the employee in their career and benefits the company and whatever its goals are. And so by talking openly and explicitly with realistic time horizons and realistic goals that benefit both sides, both sides are willing to sign up and invest in each other over a meaningful period of time.
Sarah Green: Well, it seems as you're talking about this, there's a level of honesty and transparency here between the employer and the employee that might strike some people as kind of rare. So how could a manager actually go about having some of these really honest conversations with the people on his or her team?
Ben Casnocha: The Senior Vice President of Engineering at LinkedIn begins every job interview with a potential candidate by saying, what job do you want to have after you work at LinkedIn? So I want you to come work at LinkedIn. I want you to do a tour of duty here, but I know you're not going to spend the rest of your life here. I know most likely, you're going to do a tour of duty here, hopefully multiple tours of duty, but then you'll move on to another company. So tell me about your dream job after LinkedIn.
By beginning the interview in that way, it's really a remarkable demonstration of honesty. Because as opposed to the employer saying, welcome to the company family. And we know you're going to be a lifer. You're going to be here for life. The company's being realistic about the fact that a talented employee's not likely going to want to spend the rest of their life at a single company, no matter how great your company may be. So just being honest about that fact, that lifetime employment 's unlikely, goes a long way to establishing trust.
Sarah Green: I 'd like to ask a question about the really big picture, if I can. With so much discussion -- in the United States especially, but in lots of economies -- about the mismatch between the skills employers need and the skills potential employees have and people looking for work. Do you think that if enough companies adopted this approach, that we might actually see an economic shift and sort of more people being employable and employed?
Ben Casnocha: Yeah, I think potentially. I think at the heart of the alliance conversations is a manager working with the employee to understand what skills they have, what skills they need, what skills they want. And the reason why this conversation doesn't happen in a lot of workplaces today is because the employee sometimes wants to develop skills that actually may not be particularly relevant at their current job but instead be relevant to some long-term career aspiration. And they can't be open about that.
For example, if I'm an editor at publisher, say, but I'm also interested in learning Ruby on Rails -- you know, a hot new programming framework -- because I actually want to do a career shift to become a programmer, which would require me leaving my current job. Am I going to be open with my manager about wanting to develop that skill, even though that skill would not help me in my current job? Maybe not. If I don't trust my manager. If I don't think my manager's going to be a great collaborator in terms of thinking about my long-term career, I may not bring that up. And by not bringing it up, it means that I can't -- first of all -- get advice from my manager on how to develop that skill.
But it means I also can't build a tour of duty at my current employer that might help prepare me to develop that skill over the long run. So at the most micro level, I do think more honest conversations at work around career development, with the acknowledgement that career development sometimes means leaving the company and leaving your manager, that will contribute to the macro solution of employees developing the skills they need. Not only to be happy and most fulfilled, but also to be most economically competitive in this global economy.
Sarah Green: A really hopeful message. Thank you so much for talking about it with us today
Ben Casnocha: Thank you, Sarah