Money + Fun + Balance = Glue
In his article “The Company of the Future,” (Fast Company, November 1998), Robert Reich identifies six “social glues” that bind employees and employers in the company of the future. While once viewed as above and beyond the scope of the employment contract, these social glues are rapidly becoming the norm as employers fight to secure the most talented employees and employees seek a new variety of work experiences. According to Reich:
- MONEY is the primary glue. In addition to skyrocketing salaries, stock options are becoming routine. Further, many talented employees are willing to take lower salaries in order to collect stock options in start-up companies.
- MISSION is another key selling point. The new workforce is filled with prospective employees who want to view their work as contributing to the improvement of society.
- LEARNING and a culture that values and promotes personal growth and knowledge is a cornerstone of the new knowledge-based economy.
- FUN in the workplace creates social bonds between workers and has been shown to increase productivity as well as attitude.
- PRIDE gained through being part of a top-notch organization further strengthens the social glue.
- BALANCE and flexibility in adapting to employees’ personal commitments and scheduling needs are also keys to strengthening and demonstrating commitment.
Reich concludes that the market for talent-which is both a buyer’s and seller’s market-is “the most vital market in the modern economy.” The companies that succeed in the future will be the companies that secure the most talented and committed employees; the most talented and committed employees, Reich argues, will continue to be drawn to those organizations that promote and pursue the social glues outlined above.