Bert Sadtler - President
Who Do You Work For ?
Why is this such a critical question?
Why is this a question that should be frequently asked?
The obvious (and wrong) answer is you work for the company whose name appears on the check they send you. At every level of a business, the members of the company are working for the business. From leaders to the staff level, they all work for their employer.
To continue with the wrong answer, men and women deliver their services and the business benefits from the work produced. When those men and women are asked “Who do you work for?” the answer is always delivered with the name of the business that pays them. In fact, the person asking the question is expecting to hear a response that includes the name the business who writes the paycheck.
To conclude the wrong answer, many professionals define their business identity by feeling a higher degree of self-worth if they are employed by a “blue-chip” named business.
But, what about the less than obvious answer (and the correct answer)?
What if we look at “Who do you work for?” in regards to the “who” being a person and not a company?
Doesn’t everyone report to someone?
Who does the rank and file employee work for?
Who does the supervisor work for?
Who does the CEO work for?
Isn’t business about people and the ability for people to work well together? What about the loss of productively when people don’t work well together?
Think about the impact for potential change when you find that your employer has you reporting to someone new? Now the “new who” is someone that you report to but did not select you for your role.
Think about what triggers professionals to consider a change of employment.
A leading factor for employee departure is management change. Regardless of the level of seniority, when the person who you report to changes, you are now reporting to someone who inherited you. Professionals frequently overlook the significance of this moment.
Isn’t “Who do you work for?” answered by the individual who you report to? (Yes, it is!)
When you are thinking about your office and your place of employment, don’t you think of it in terms of the people and the person you report to?
Knowing who you work for is critical because it defines how well you fit within your job.
Today’s marketplace sees management change as a frequent event. Most professionals see management change as a normal course of business. Business professionals would be better served by taking more notice to: “Who do you work for?”
Team members should be prepared to present and discuss their efforts and results with their new manager as soon as possible. They should be taking an assessment of what the new manager is looking for and the new manager’s style. In most cases, it may be better to have several shorter conversations versus one long meeting. The multiple conversations offer a better chance to observe the manager’s style and approach.
New managers are taking on their new role for a reason. Was their predecessor dismissed for lack of performance? Is this role due to growth? Was there a promotion? Some managers have been hired as agents of change and can be expected to make changes. All managers have been hired to be accountable for their team. As such, they need to quickly find out who on the team is a fit and who is not.
With new management, changes can be expected. If the change come as a surprise, the situation can become difficult.
“Who do you work for?” has become a critical question in today’s dynamically changing workplace. This can be likened to keeping your eye on the ball. Frequently ask yourself this question and make sure you not only know the answer but you also know if who you work for is also someone that you get along with.