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社交网络教父:你最好的员工总有跳槽离开的一天

Jessi Hempel 2014年06月19日

社交网络之父雷德•霍夫曼在自己即将出版的新书《同盟》中提出了一个挑战传统思维的观点:雇主与员工之间不再是一辈子的事,雇主最好把雇佣关系看成类似于“服兵役”,双方好聚好散。

    总有一天,你最聪明、最喜爱的员工想离开公司。而对此雷德•霍夫曼说,你应该让他们走——或者说,至少在大部分情况下,你都应该放他们走。雷德•霍夫曼本身是社交网络之王,他创办了社交网络LinkedIn,同时还是社交服务网站Facebook的早期投资人。今年7月8日,霍夫曼将出版一本新书,为管理者提供建议。新书名为《同盟》(The Alliance),里面的观点十分激进,值得一读。2011年霍夫曼出版的《至关重要的关系》(The Start-Up of You)一书取得了极大成功,而《同盟》则是这本书的后续。作为一本指导手册,它给了管理者充分的理由,让他们重新思考管理者与员工关系的实质。霍夫曼与另两名联合作者本 • 卡斯诺瓦和克里斯•叶一起提出了一个事实:现在已经没有人会在一家公司一直干到底了,管理者们应该承认现实。与此相反,员工与雇主应该达成协议,将共同努力推进工作看作是在军队完成一次服役。一旦服役期结束,他们就该坐下来重新讨论之后的安排。2009年,霍夫曼加入了一家卓越的硅谷风险投资公司Greylock。最近我得以与他会面,讨论应该如何将他的想法付诸实践。下面是我们的谈话内容(为清晰起见,谈话内容经过编辑):

    你说到应该把共同推进工作的过程看作一段“服役期”,这是一个部队里的一个术语,该怎么跟员工说明这一点呢?

    实际上,你应该在与员工交谈时问他们:你梦想中的工作是什么?是在我们公司还是在别的地方?我们应该如何平衡双方的利益,使结果既对双方有好处,又不耽误你达成目标?

    如果员工有自己的目标,谈起来就会很容易。但大部分员工都没有自己的目标,他们只是想找一份工作。

    他们只是想要一份工作,然后在工作中获得成功。他们想要感到“我正在进步”。你应该让员工做对公司有益的工作,同时让他们感到自己一直在进步。过去几十年的传统是:让员工好好忠于公司。有些时候,这会带来好的结果。但你真正该做的是告诉员工:如果你取得巨大成功,我们会更加高兴。如果这样的结果是你还继续留在公司,那很好;如果你最终离开了公司,那也没问题——我们想创建的是非常健康的关系。

    如此说来,你是在鼓励有潜力的人才离开公司吗?

    如果这样对他们好的话,是的。这么做的一个结果是,相比以往,公司会拥有越来越多的、年纪较轻的前成员。之前的状况是,公司前员工都在65岁或以上,只能打打高尔夫球。而现在,25到30岁的年轻人从公司离开后,还会去其它地方工作。他们都是公司的前成员,应该怎样跟他们保持联络,使这一点有助于你呢?

    There will come a time when your brightest, most beloved employee will want to leave. Reid Hoffman says you should let her go—or at least, in many instances. On July 8, the king of social networks himself, who founded LinkedIn and was an early investor in Facebook, will publish a radical book of advice for managers called The Alliance, and it’s worth a read. A follow-up to his 2011 blockbuster The Start-Up of You, this instructional manual makes a strong case that managers should rethink the very essence of the relationships they strike with employees. Along with co-writers Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh, Hoffman argues that no one goes to work for one company forever anymore, and that managers shouldn’t pretend they do. Instead, employees and employers should agree upon short increments of work to accomplish together much like a military tour of duty. Once the work is complete, they should meet to reevaluate what happens next. I recently sat down with Hoffman, who joined the prominent Silicon Valley VC firm Greylock Partners in 2009, to discuss how his ideas translate into practice. Below, our conversation (edited for clarity):

    You discuss thinking about increments of work as tours of duty, a term you take from the military. How do you convey that to employees?

    You should actually have conversations with your employees to say, what would your dream job be, whether it’s here or somewhere else? How do we align our interests where it’s working for both of us that you are on your path?

    That’s easy when an employee arrives knowing what she wants to do, but very often people don’t. They arrive wanting a job.

    They want a job and they want success. They want some notion of, “I’m making progress.” You want to align that instinct to things that are very helpful to the company. The classic thing for decades was: Be a good company person. And sometimes it plays out that way. But what you want to do is say, we are much happier when you’ve made a huge amount of progress. If the consequence is you stay at the company, that’s okay. And if the consequence is, you move on, that’s okay too. We want to make that all very healthy.

    So you’re encouraging potentially talented people to leave?

    If that’s what’s right for them. One consequence: companies are generating a lot more young alumni than they used to have. It used to be that alumni were 65 and played golf. Now you have alumni who worked here from age 25 to 30 and are now doing other things. How do you stay engaged with those alumni and how is that helpful to you?

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