Redefining the Value of Work: Managing the Employer-Employee Relationship


As the coronavirus pandemic continues to go on, the employer-employee relationship continues to be tested. Moving forward during this time of uncertainty requires defined expectations of what this relationship should look like.

Although employers and employees may consider each other family, the reality is that they are not. The problem with thinking of employees as family is that it can be difficult letting go of a poor performer. This is why the demonstration of boundaries between employers and employees is important.

Discover some ways the employer-employee relationship may change as we continue to navigate during the pandemic.

Boundaries for the Employer-Employee Relationship

When the pandemic began, employers were expected to support their employees’ health, livelihoods, and well-being to an immense degree. What should have unfolded over several years took place over several months. As a result, employers’ levels of success in fulfilling this objective were intensely scrutinized.

  • Many employees showed significant adaptability and resilience as they overcame challenges.
  • The innovative results otherwise may have taken years to develop.

Provision of Employee Support

A substantial number of workforce segments were disproportionately impacted by the health crisis and economic downturn. This led to questions about whether employers were doing enough to support their employees.

  • Young workers were likely to be unemployed or underemployed.
  • The participation of minority groups in the labor force steeply declined.
  • Women faced significantly more employment risk than men.
  • A substantial number of employees said their job demands increased, their work life worsened, or their well-being declined.

Employee Reflections on Job Satisfaction

Employees began considering how dissatisfied they were with their work experiences. This resulted in a substantial number of employees changing employers.

  • Employees began redefining what they want in an employer.
  • Most employees want employers to support their purpose and values.

Realignment of Purpose and Work

A communal employer-employee relationship may be one of your most effective options going forward. This involves the creation of a shared purpose as the foundation of the relationship. This is the tie that keeps them together.

  • Purpose should be grounded by your company values.
  • Your values should serve economic, social, and human interests and provide a benchmark to guide employer and employee decisions and actions.
  • Social concerns and business concerns are equally important.
  • Your company’s commitment to purpose is a critical part of its employer brand.
  • The meaning and fulfillment your employees gain from their jobs impact your ability to attract and retain workers.
  • Millennials and Gen Z, who make up the majority of the workforce, typically decide which employer to work for based on their personal ethics.
  • Taking action on social issues such as race and climate change should be part of your employee value proposition.

Need Help with Employment?

Whether you are searching for accounting & finance employees or jobs in Western Canada, Mercer Bradley can help. Request an employee or visit our job board today.

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