How to Extend "Honeymoon with Employer"
How to make the union of the employer and the employee sturdy and long, to ensure that the relationship does not end after the “honeymoon”, and what should immediately alert the candidate.
CleverControl asked the expert in marketing, PR and communication strategy Larry Warren.
Larry, what would be a beautiful beginning of a relationship between the company and the employee?
In practice of successful professionals quite interesting stories "conquest" happen quite often. Firstly, let’s define "the honeymoon period"? It is actually just like that pre-purchase buzz you might get. It is the moment when the interest in some employee or employer is so high that all your further actions are aimed at the realization of the desire "to get him/her/it". But, as in human relationships, in work it is very important to have the desire balanced. An emotional impulse purchase based on someone else's successful market experience sometimes has nothing to do with the goal of the employer. And the substitution of concepts most often leads to disappointment. First, the employer needs time to define what tasks he or she will set before the future employee, which of them to define as a priority, and what he or she is willing to sacrifice. Second, the applicant must also consider what he or she "sells", "earns", and for what price. All these questions are specific enough to require serious consideration and it's important to separate emotions in making such decisions.
In what cases do you advise for the employee to be suspicious? What's supposed to be the red flag?
For example, you get a call from an HR specialist and off the bat he or she starts to praise you and all of your projects. And this flattery is followed by the invitation for a meeting where everything is made just for you and even the boss meets you with a smile. The intention is clear: everyone is excited to meet you, you really have something to respect you for but where does all of this excessive "gallantry" come from. It creates suspicion. It all would be fine if it was not for this weird aftertaste of some kind of catch... And now, at home, in a comfortable chair, you start recalling rather strange inconsistencies in the manner of communication with you and the current employees, such as rudeness with the secretary or assistant, and that nasty feeling of insincerity. Or, let's imagine a completely opposite experience when the calling recruiter tells you how lucky you are to be addressed by such a company. Most often, such interview continues with a general feeling of an “exam” and questions like "Well? What do you know about us?" The feeling is often reinforced by phrases like: "Next time I want you to prepare a presentation for us." These seem to be two completely opposite examples but what do they have in common? In fact, in both cases, the company does not understand what it is looking for in a future candidate. Because "praise" or "belittling" is a transition to personal that deprives the dialogue between people of all productivity and causes completely unnecessary emotional reactions. What is dangerous about such a beginning of work relationship? The fact that your work simply will never meet the boss’s expectations because he or she doesn't know what is required.
Contrast between “the honeymoon” and everyday work life
What examples do you know of where the contrast between “the honeymoon” and everyday work life?
I just remembered a joke: Because of the serious problems the company was in the boss fired the marketing director. And he tells his successor that he have prepared three letters which the new marketing director needs to open before every meeting with the boss. After a year the company has zero results, the boss calls the new director in for a meeting. So he opens the 1st letter which says: "Blame everything on me." The successor refers to the terrible legacy he inherited from the previous employee, and he is forgiven. Another year passes. The picture is the same. Dynamics of company’s development is not improving. Another meeting is planned. The marketing director opens the 2nd letter which says: "Blame everything on the fact that the effect of modernization cannot be instantaneous and that it requires a cumulative effect and time." Again the director is forgiven. Another year later nothing has changed. The director opens the 3rd letter before the meeting and it says: "Prepare the 3 letters." This joke, as it often happens, is only 50% joke. Very often employers who don’t know what they want expect too much from an employee. The boss who doesn’t know how to set goals and tasks sees the employee as a beam of light that will bring business back from the darkness, but it is not always justified. And this kind of dissonance stops “the honeymoon” straight away.
Mistakes and how to avoid them
In your opinion, what is the main mistake of the employers, since employees are so happy at the initial stages and so stunned afterward?
I would not affix all the blame to the employer. Selecting the employee and the employer is a two-sided process. The boss needs to understand what his or her task is the process of road mapping, determining a route and setting specific goals for correct people. And, as I said earlier, you should not succumb to emotions. During job interviews, you must negotiate the terms and recognize the goals and motives of both parties just to avoid further misunderstandings. And if the applicant sees some uncertainty in his or her future position he or she should not be afraid to voice the fears to the potential boss. Do not be afraid to ask questions.
What can you recommend to managers to avoid mistakes?
The most important advice for managers is not to forget that you're in charge of the process. It is very important to listen and hear, to draw the lessons from the mistakes, to understand that it is normal when mistakes happen and know how to delegate. But the most important thing is to take responsibility for the result.