The employer-employee relationship is broken. Managers face a seemingly impossible dilemma: You can’t afford to offer lifetime employment. But you can’t build a lasting, innovative business when everyone acts like a free agent. The solution: Stop thinking of employees as family or free agents, and start thinking of them as allies on a tour of duty.

Co-authored by Reid Hoffman, founder/chairman of LinkedIn, and Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh, The Alliance teaches managers how to recruit, manage, and retain the entrepreneurial employees your business needs to succeed in the networked age.

The “tour of duty” is the way you organise the alliance at work and this framework helped Reid Hoffman recruit and retain all-star talent at LinkedIn.

Key takeaways:

  • The trouble with modern employment is that after your 90-day probation period, you will be an “at will” employee who can be fired at any time. For any reason. Or for no reason at all.
  • The employer-employee relationship is based on a dishonest conversation: Companies expect employee loyalty without committing job security or professional development. Employees say they’re loyal, but leave the moment a better opportunity comes.
  • As a result of this dishonesty, employers continually lose valuable people and employees fail to fully invest in their current job because they’re scanning the marketplace for new opportunities.
  • Managers are caught in the middle as nobody invests in the long-term relationship and this is why 70% of workers in America are not engaged in their work according to Gallup.
  • The solution is to stop of employees as family or free agents and start thinking of them as allies on a tour of duty.
  • Employment should be an alliance; a mutually beneficial deal with explicit terms between independent players. This will result in a mutually beneficial alliance instead of a transactional relationship.
  • A tour of duty has a specific mission with a realistic time horizon, it should be written down and clearly state what benefits there will be for the employee.

RELATED: Employee Retention: How to Keep Your Best Talent

About Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO at Link Humans, a social and digital marketing agency.

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