Perspectives June 1, 2013

HBR / Tours of Duty

The New Employer-Employee Compact


For most of the 20th century, the compact between employers and employees in the developed world was all about stability…

Then came globalization and the Information Age. Stability gave way to rapid, unpredictable change. Adaptability and entrepreneurship became key to achieving and sustaining success. These changes demolished the traditional employer-employee compact and its accompanying career escalator in the U.S. private sector; they are in varying degrees of disarray elsewhere.

We are not the first to point this out or to propose solutions. But none of the new approaches offered so far have really taken hold… The time has come, we believe, for a new employer-employee compact.

Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh’s thoughts on the new employer-employee contract in HBR.