The problem when employers and employees pretend it’s for life

Today, few companies offer guaranteed employment with a straight face; such assurances are perceived by employees as naive, disingenuous, or both. Instead, employers talk about retention and tenure with fuzzy language: their goal is to retain “good” employees and the time frame is . . . indefinitely. This fuzziness actually destroys trust—the company is asking employees to commit to itself without committing to them in return. (…)

Both parties act in ways that blatantly contradict their official positions. And thanks to this reciprocal self-deception, neither side trusts each other. Not surprisingly, neither side profits as fully as it might from their relationship. Employers continually lose valuable people. Employees fail to fully invest in their current position because they’re constantly scanning the marketplace for new opportunities. 

The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, Chris Yeh