The Employer-Employee dynamic

The Employer-Employee dynamic has changed dramatically over the years. Dating back to the beginning of time, many laborers were compensated simply with just food and shelter or farm produce to provide for their families. Flash forward to the next monumental development, the Industrial Revolution. Employees worked fourteen to sixteen hours a day for six days a week and received only $8 to $10 dollars a week, amounting to a whopping 10 cents per hour (U.S. History, 2013). The working conditions were harsh and the Employer-Employee dynamic consisted of solely downward communication and an ‘obey or bust’ relationship.

As time has lapsed on, generational advancements, increased social rights awareness, and other emerging dynamics have re-shaped the Employer-Employee dynamic in the workplace drastically. In today’s workplace arena, employers are faced with the challenge of fostering their employees on levels above and beyond just a paycheck and forced gestures of gratitude and praise. Employees today seek empowerment, development, and a workplace environment rich in social and emotional support. 

If only every CEO or organizational leader provided its employees the empowerment and social support that former Starbucks CEO, Howard Schulz, did – not only would the average employee’s blood pressure be appreciably reduced, but employee productivity, engagement, and commitment to organizational objectives and metrics would undoubtedly skyrocket. Skeptical about this last statement? If so, take a moment to review Starbucks’ employee training profile and breakdown (Starbucks, 2017), then ‘turn the page’ and peruse Starbucks’ financial portfolio to date. Three simple words: cause and effect. 

Survival Guide for Employees with Employers leading by ‘expired modalities’:

From my many years of recruiting employees and medical professionals at all levels for various organizations, I have been taught many ‘benchmarks’ and ‘rules of thumb’ for assessing professional talent and one’s potential value to the organization. The most notable of these was a two-year minimum duration with any employer. Fifteen years ago, this may have been valid advice. However, amidst a world filled with more and more enriched work environments and employers who care as much about developing their employees and their well-being as they do their own IRA contributions and company profits, my advice: ditch that advice and never settle for anything less than a culminating, developing, supportive work environment.

Survival Guide for Employers attaining for leadership advice:

Simple. Take time to read one of my favorite organizational leadership books I have ever read, Organizational Behavior: Human Behavior at Work, 14th Edition (Newstrom, 2015). Rest assured, you will gain knowledge and insights that will propel you far ahead of your competitors, providing you and your organization competitive advantage and enriching the lives (and subsequently, the productivity and devotion) of your employees. 


“Economic Growth and the Early Industrial Revolution.” U.S. History Pre-Columbian to the New Millenium. U.S. History. Web. 10 April 2013

NASDAQ. (2017). SBux Company Financials. Retrieved from: http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/sbux/financials?query=income-statement

Newstrom, J. (2015). Organizational Behavior: Human Behavior at Work. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education. 

Starbucks. (2017). Working at Starbucks. Retrieved from: https://www.starbucks.com/careers/working-at-starbucks