The “Manager-Employee Agreement” Idea

Call this a little bit of “thinking out loud”…

Recently, I conducted some interviews of a number of employees within a company.  These grew out of an employee survey, and the company wanted a little more “what’s behind these responses” information.  It made me think about what employees expect from their supervisors/managers/bosses – and, what those “leaders” expect from their employees.

And I got to thinking:  what if there was a “contract, or a “pledge,” or a “promise” agreement of some kind, with both manager and employee buy-in?  Let’s call it the “Manager-Employee Agreement.”  What if every employee within an organization knew what to expect from his/her “manager/supervisor?”  And what if every “manager” knew what to expect – what to count on – from every employee?  And, what if each “delivered” what the other needed?

So, consider this a “beginning” list of items (yes, the “manager” portion is adapted from the Kouzes and Posner book, Encouraging the Heart).  This really is a first draft.  If you decided to create such an agreement, what would you take out; what would you add?

From the Manager/Supervisor/Boss:

#1 — I will be very clear with my expectations.  You will know what doing a good job looks like.
#2 – I will pay attention to the work you do – not to look for fault, but to be attentive…
#3 – I will be available, for conversations, and consultation
#4 – I will reward you for a job well done
#5 – I will communicate fully about changes and developments and challenges within the organization
#6 – I will not show favoritism
#7 – I will provide adequate training opportunities, so that you can learn, and advance in your career
#8 – When you mess up, I will help you learn from your mistakes
#9 – I will care more about your success, and the success of our other team members, than I will about my “own” success
#10 – I will welcome your input of new ideas, innovative suggestions, and other suggestions of any kind

From the “Employee”: 

#1 – I will be responsible – I will show up, on time, and get my work done to the high standard of our organization
#2 – I will strive for constant improvement
#3 – I will be honest and trustworthy at all times
#4 – I will take full advantage of training opportunities
#5 – I will fully support my fellow team members

Yes, the list for the “Manager” is much longer than the “Employee” list.  I think this is as it should be.  The “Manager” is responsible for the growth and success and overall performance of the team he/she manages and leads.

So, what do you think?  A good idea?  What changes would you make?


One thought on “The “Manager-Employee Agreement” Idea

  1. I think this is a very good list. I will add the concept of teamwork.
    #11 I create a teamwork that formalizes commitments to each other and clearly states what the team wants to accomplish, why it is important and how the team will work together to achieve results. (From the book High Five)
    # 12 I will rotate positions to build flexibility, introduce change, and build mental and physical skills.
    From the employee:
    # 6 I will work as a team, teaching my fellow workers how to be better, faster and more productive

    “Fully support” is vague…need more description here.

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