By Victor O.
Most actions in a workplace are driven by self-interest, with this often making deception common in the corporate spectrum. In his new book titled “The Alliance,” LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman addresses an aspect of workplace deception perpetuated by employers.
Hoffman, who had garnered lots of experience over the years with lies in the workplace, thinks “a dishonest conversation” is at the base of the relationship between employers and employees. To the LinkedIn co-founder, the biggest lie employers often tell their employees is that the relationship between them is similar to that of a family.
“The biggest lie is that the employment relationship is like family,” Hoffman writes.
He said this line of thought may be as a result of the employer “actually deluding themselves” by trying to believe, or feeling convinced, that their workplace is just like a family. He said it may also be a case of an employer simply trying to make employees loyal to the company by deceptively telling them they are like members of his family.
Hoffman writes that it is totally untrue that the employer-employee relationship can be likened to that of a family. The truth is that you cannot treat your employees the same way you will treat your kid or any other family member, he says.
“You don’t fire your kid because of bad grades,” Hoffman states.
HRE Daily notes that Hoffman’s book, which aims to clarify the concept of family, is co-authored by Daniel Pink, Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh. The authors acknowledged that CEOs like using the family concept to show that they treat employees “with compassion and respect.” But the authors believe this is a mistake on the part of employers, since companies are not permanent.
“The instant you lay off an underperforming employee, or someone leaves to pursue a better opportunity, the illusion of family is shattered,” the authors say.
Hoffman notes that it is not the employers who are doing all the lying; prospective employees do as well. Knowing employers desire loyalty, employees often lie when being hired and say that they plan on spending their entire career with a company—something the LinkedIn chairman thinks is not realistic.
The authors of “The Alliance” want employers and employees to be more truthful about the relationship between them.
“Both sides need to be honest with each other about the fact that the employment might not be permanent,” they said.