Your Best New Employee is Your Current Employee

Have you heard about the company Next Jump? They don’t fire anyone they hire. They basically create a marriage contract with each employee. Now, that’s disruptive!

At first, I was stunned. But then I realized that this would change everything.

“Next Jump” is a good name for a company that would attempt such a risky endeavor. It would mean that instead of cutting the weak links, leaders would be forced to grow and become better equipped for their roles. Leaders would have to take an objective look at an employee’s performance and figure out a way to help them evolve as a team member.

Implementing a company model such as this would improve culture and eliminate employee fear. After all, the company is married to them. Accountability would be a whole other matter. This reminds me of the study done on students who were required to give themselves their own grades. Inevitably, they worked harder to meet the class expectations because they took ownership of their own efforts.

Considering how a company model such as this could be managed effectively, I thought about the importance of an Employee Engagement Network (EEN).

I’ve spoken at length about Customer Relationship Networks (CRNs) and the power they have to enable two-way interactions between consumers and brands. These networks allow brands to move toward connecting with their consumers on a deeper, more personal level.

Can we use digital platforms to mentor and teach employee leadership as well?

In the old model, business leadership retained power and withheld opportunities for creative risk-taking or self-expression. By applying digital platforms to this situation, this would engage the new way of thinking that empowers employees by building relationships based on trust. The resulting positive culture would create an environment for a boost in performance.

To adopt a change such as this is not without its challenges. A clear policy in regards to skills development and performance reviews would be a necessity. But, benefits seem to be clear:

  • Brand engagement: EENs will connect the values of the organization to the values of the individual. The “job” becomes a place where people do life and live out their values together.
  • Employee efficiency: EENs would help place employees with the work that they are best equipped to handle. Feedback would come early and often, good and bad.
  • Individual participation: Employees would no be longer be limited by their title. An account executive, for example, would simply understand the importance of keeping clients happy. That means job descriptions would become less important than understanding company objectives.

Employee engagement drives culture. When a company’s culture health improves, so does the company. This has been proven in study after study of great companies. Could employee marriage contracts be the next best practice among great companies. Who knows?

But, Next Jump’s bold move got me thinking differently, and for that I thank them. Perhaps we should all be looking at our employees differently, like they did. We don’t need a marriage contract to do that.

Next time you are tempted to change your team, perhaps instead you should change your team.