Chapter 5

Employee Development

A lot goes into a healthy employment relationship. Both the employee and the employer have responsibility to fulfill the other's needs in a reciprocal arrangement. Employees perform for the employer by using skills and knowledge that they have gained both on the job and prior to employment. In turn, the employer fulfills the motivational needs of employees and allows them a degree of self-determination in how they go about their jobs.

In the last chapter, I briefly touched on a third component of person-environment fit, specifically, the elements of the employment relationship that are not reciprocal, but held in common. Supplementary fit occurs when an employment relationship embellishes the shared goals, values, norms, personality, or attitudes between an individual and his or her workmates. It literally is the oil that greases the wheel of what would otherwise be a transactional relationship between a worker and his or her employer.

When employees identify strongly with their employer, take pride in their work, and feel that they are moving in the same direction, good things happen. Employees stick around longer, invest more heavily in their jobs, and are willing to weather a personal setback. The self-interest inherent to complementary fit, where one party expects the other to fulfill his or her needs, does not go nearly far enough to ensure a long-term and sustainable employment relationship.

One way to ensure that employees feel valued and connected ...

Get Misplaced Talent: A Guide to Better People Decisions now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.