What is employeeship?
Employeeship is a further development of “the Nordic model”, which entails a balanced interaction between employers, employees and job duties. Freedom with accountability, mutual obligations and equal value are important aspects of the Nordic approach. It is from this approach that our ideas about employeeship have evolved. We are all coworkers, even if some of us have leadership responsibilities.
Employeeship is the sum of how I relate to my job duties, colleagues and employer. At the same time, responsibility and commitment within these three areas are the actual foundation for professional pride and job satisfaction. This is a context everyone intuitively understands, which makes it easier to convince everyone to adopt the idea, and this includes management staff, rank and file employees and union representatives.
The reasoning is based on research from Professor Stefan Tengblad, who for the past 10 years has been the only professor in the Nordic countries to be conducting a research programme on leadership.
Employeeship is a leadership philosophy that brings clarity and common understanding to concepts such as taking responsibility, ability to take the initiative and binding interaction.
The enterprise gains improved yield from staff competence and work capacity, stronger commitment and sense of responsibility, more efficient operations and fewer conflicts. The employees in turn, gain increased job satisfaction, an improved work environment and a more challenging and stimulating working day.
Employeeship is a conflict-dampening form of behaviour that triggers the desire to participate and contribute so as to jointly create a good and effective work place.
How can employeeship be developed?
Clear concepts are necessary for clarity of thought. Our ways of working and tools – which systematically measure employeeship based on the latest research – incorporate the reality of everyday life and enable cost-effective development on a large scale. The structure is necessary for creating sustainable change, where all concerned understand and use equivalent vocabulary.
The development process extends over time, but the results begin to appear after just a few months. Development of employeeship is anchored in professional pride and job satisfaction. The driving force is the will of the individual. Not directives and controls.
What happens to leadership?
Employeeship does not replace leadership – it instead complements leadership and clarifies mutual dependencies. We call this binding interaction.
Good employeeship makes it easier to be a leader, and good leadership makes it meaningful to take responsibility and demonstrate commitment. Leadership and employeeship are two sides of the same phenomenon and are best developed together rather than individually. Good leadership entails that employees feel shared responsibility and conduct themselves accordingly.