Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jobs 2.0: Ever thought of collaborating with your employees?

Edit: In order to avoid unnecessary speculation and consternation, I would like to clarify that the below post does not reference any company's I've worked in or work for. I will have it on record saying I thoroughly enjoy (and am still enjoying) working for both agencies I have had the pleasure to work with. Said friend works for a totally separate industry and was never a colleague. Said friend is not me. Don't ask if I'm looking for a job.

P.s. Erna says this is a
good post, so I'm leaving it up. :)

A friend on the verge of leaving his company is being blamed by his boss for undermining the company's delicate pay structure and causing unrest in the entire office. I think it's laughable that bosses have to shake and quiver with fear when their employees "finally figure out what they are worth."

Was the whole business model to hire staff as cheaply as possible in the first place and then sell their services to the highest bidder? Sounds like a workable business model? Yeaps, in the old days perhaps. But, today it's just not a sustainable business model. Mainly because employees will "finally figure out how much they are really worth."

Industry survey - Share on Ovi

Thanks to the internet and social networks, everyone knows what their worth now...sort of. Just run a search on 'salary survey' on Google and you'll know what I'm talking about. Or, better still, if you're connected, post on a forum of like-minded professionals (don't ask them what they earn, ask them what they think you should earn - provide years of experience, field and some idea of your current job scope).

What does this mean for you, the boss? If I could sum it up into two words, they would be - transparency and collaboration. (My friend disagrees, he thinks it should be three words - big, fat, paycheck.)

First, be transparent about how you arrived at what that employee should be paid. Obviously, its tied to his / her job-scope and how that contributes to the company's profitability or ability to function. If your employee has a clear view of her role and how that translates into her pay, you're 50% there for the next step of the way. Remember, your "survey" of the "industry" is not the end-all of the conversation.

Secondly, collaborate. As a boss, you're always going to fight an uphill battle to keep employees if your goal is to "keep them at the lowest wage possible for as long as possible." Understand that people have financial responsibilities too and the oil prices hit everyone. Help the employee understand why the company can only pay them so much for what they do, and offer solutions (additional roles they can fill, perhaps?) to help them meet their personal goals. If the employee is unreasonable, sack them - you have my permission.

Notice I haven't mentioned a word about company culture? I feel that's a word that's often trumped up too much, so much so that there are actually companies who feel "great company culture™" is a substitute for proper pay and benefits. Hello! Pay and benefits ARE part of the company culture. No one's saying we should go overboard like these people, but please realise that rousing motivational talks from the boss don't fill stomachs.

Capiche? A great employer would make the employee feel that he / she is key part of the organisation and is being rewarded as a co-owner and co-driver of the company's success. Transparency and collaboration.

Okay, I guess I should clarify in case this post gets taken the wrong way that I am not writing this to target any particular company. Half the content in this post should be credited to my friend (who shall remain anonymous), but I felt echo in many people I have met, worked with or chatted with about work-in-general over the past 5 years.

The concept of job has evolved. I think it's worth re-evaluating.


eevon said...

Ooo! Ooo! I know! I know!! It's the kuli industry!

davidlian said...

:) Nope... quite high class one this friend.

yclian said...

Just wondering, did you read the book "Wikinomics"?


davidlian said...

Not yet... you wanna lend me?

yclian said...

I actually borrowed it from my ex-manager, it's a good book to read and what you shared in this blog is what being discussed in the book.

By the way, I saw Marcus at Lavigne's concert.


davidlian said...

@yclian: marcus is now trying to be hip. Did you see him before or after he tucked his shirt out. Cool-nye.