The Employee/Employer Relationship: Breaking the Barrier

The employee/ employer relationship is just that: a work relationship.  Sometimes it works and other times it does not.  Some might compare the recruiting, hiring, and employment process to dating.  I tend to agree.  The interviewing and hiring selection process involves blind dates, dating profiles, and uncomfortable first dates as two parties get to know one another before jumping into a commitment, a long term work relationship as employee and employer.

The Work Relationship Decoded

The work relationship is just as complex as a romantic relationship. Just like the courting process of any relationship, we put on our best face and foot forward to attract the attention of the other party.  Sometimes being a slightly smarter, cleaner, or reserved shell of ourselves.  It’s what we do.  Focusing on using our best qualities to attract the attention of the other.  And while we are smitten we tend to push aside or justify those qualities, or eccentricities of the other party all in the name of love.  But as we begin to break the barrier and ease into our work relationship, these quirky qualities begin to surface sometimes to either party’s dismay.

The Downfalls of Breaking the Barrier in Corporate Relationships

This process of breaking the barrier in the corporate relationship rears it’s ugly head a few different ways.  For an employee, we could relax our workplace dress or begin to arrive to work just a hair late as is our usual nature.  Be more real, ourselves.  For the employer, the shine of new hire training begins to wear off.  There are now deadlines, goals, and real expectations.  Maybe that promise of more autonomy or of a more flexible employee work or ROWE (results oriented work environment) schedule begins to get in the way of the business at hand.

There is no one moment, event, or conversation that breaks the corporate relationship barrier.  It just does.  This critical moment normally plays itself out just past 90 days beyond the new hire’s training and adjustment period but sometimes the barrier is broken much earlier causing copious amounts of drama between both parties.

Moving Past the Breaking of the Barrier

As leaders and human resource professionals, we’ve seen our share of breaking the barrier moments running interference, a sort of corporate romance counselor.  And it sucks.

For any good relationship to be success and go beyond the barrier both parties must enter into the corporate relationship honestly and understanding that things are not exactly what they seem.  There’s give and take.  Conversations that happen and changes in expectations that take place.

Not every employee/employer relationship is successful, but once we break the barrier and free ourselves to be ourselves sometimes things just fall into place.

One of my favorite recent YouTube videos is called “Breaking the Barrier.” It’s hilarious.   And yes, it inspired this post.  Check it out below.  How have you broken the barrier either as an employee or an employer in your workplace? 

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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