Home News A Fresh Approach to Employment Contracts

A Fresh Approach to Employment Contracts

A Fresh Approach to Employment Contracts

Earlier today, HR expert Thomas Otter pointed me to an example of a fresh approach to employment contracts. It’s the illustration you see at the top of this story. In the spirit of recent Twitter memes about music in stories, my immediate thought was of these lines:

Now see what youve gone and done.
Now see what youve gone and done.

Well now you never did see such a terrible thing…

Those come from the song Domino by Genesis. I can see HR professionals having palpitations at best and heart failure at worst. That’s after the lawyers. But seriously.

In his commentary, Otter describes his reaction as ‘thrilled,’ because:

Getting the contract assembled and signed has always been the weak link in the onboarding process. It is when the slick recruiting process meets the legal 10 point font.

…and offering his impressions of this effort as:

  1.  Profound simplicity and attention to detail
  2. It amplifies the company brand. Check out their website and marketing. This aligns perfectly.
  3. It shows that almost anything can be improved through thoughtful design
  4. It will make Tony‘s a very popular chocolate with HR departments.
  5. if you can do this to the employment contract, you can do it to pretty much any process.

He has a point. But what’s equally impressive are the number of reactions on LinkedIn. As might be expected, there is plenty of support for this approach but equally, some aspects would likely fall foul of a variety of laws in different countries. Does that make this style of contract untenable? Absolutely not. It just means some will require tweaking. Even so, while playful, the fundamentally different approach taken by Tony‘s Chocolonely should be taken seriously.

The question of trust (there’s another song title/lyrics right there 😉 ) that the company spells out is central to this approach. The company says that:

We laid down the most important things and for the rest, we rely on mutual trust and common sense. And okay, there is a 2nd page with our values and promises we make to the new Tony.

This stands in sharp contrast to reports of covert employee surveillance in the locked down economy where some employers think that a true measure of productivity is time spent in front of a screen. Smart employers know that time is not a measure of achievement. The pace at which people work is infinitely variable, something that Taylor masterfully massaged when ‘inventing’ the ‘science’ of time and motion that has dominated measurement in the industrial age.

But what this approach also demonstrates – at least to me – is a willingness to think differently about what the employer/employee relationship should look like and how it is expected to work. You can’t get a sense fo that from modern legalese which, of necessity, is all about protection.

Finally, if I was a prospective employee, how attractive would I find this? As someone the wrong side of the UK national retirement age I might have difficulty, but as a person coming into the workforce looking to find a career path at an uncertain time? I’d likely jump at the chance. After all, how many employment contracts make you smile?

The only remaining question is how this approach might impact the whole hiring process…over to you for comments.

PS – did anyone else notice it is called ‘agreement’ and not ‘contract?’

 

 

Eskalera, a Startup Led by Goldman Sachs’ Former HR Head Has Launched a Diversity and Inclusion Index

Eskalera, a technology startup led by Goldman Sachs former human resources head Dane Holmes, has launched an index to measure corporate diversity and inclusiveness,...

HSBC to Remove 35,000 Jobs Amidst Covid-19 Crises

HSBC Holdings Plc has restarted cutting as many as 35,000 jobs, three months after the coronavirus outbreak forced it to pause a long-awaited overhaul...

Genpact Offers Its Internal Skill Training Program Globally for Everyone

Genpact has announced Adapt and Rise, a role-based online learning platform that leverages Genpact's expertise honed from delivering real-world change for hundreds of clients....

San-Francisco Based Learning Platform Degreed Has Raised $32 Million in New Funding

The upskilling platform, Degreed, has announced $32 million in new funding in direct response to overwhelming demand for better skill insights, talent mobility, and...

Research Shows the Implications of Workplace Layouts on Employee Productivity and Overall Performance

As some workplaces prepare for the gradual return of employees and overhaul office layouts and seating plans, research has shown this could also have...

Employee Concierge ‘Back Technologies’ Integrates Automation Into Internal HR and Other Support Tasks

Companies are under increasing pressure to automate workflows and digitally service their employees, particularly in light of trends toward remote work. It takes an...

HR Strategies to Help Your Business Navigate the New ‘Normal’

No business is immune to the massive changes resulting from the health crisis. Organizations have proven themselves to be agile, and employees have demonstrated...

The Importance Of Diversity And Inclusion In HR, Hiring, Talent Management: Thoughts From A Top Expert

Michael C. Hyter is one of today’s best-known experts on inclusion and diversity and the author of The Power of Choice: Embracing Efficacy to Drive Your Career and The...

HR Expert Highlights Actionable Steps to ‘Make Real Change’ Against Racism in Your Workplace

Kyra Leigh Sutton, Ph.D., is a faculty member at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations, where she teaches human resources courses...

Adidas Employees Want Company to Investigate HR Chief for Response to Racial Issues

A group of Adidas employees from around the globe is asking the company to investigate its chief human resources officer, as part of a...