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  • Patrick Keefe

Trust Moves in Two Directions

Back when Tick Tok was the sound a clock made, I parented teenagers. One of the few rules we had was a requirement for a phone call check in with your location (land lines, no cell phone) and/or if you switched locations.


One of my children (who now has children of his/her/their own) – thought that my simple rule was akin to being a political prisoner of a maniacal, patriarchal dictator. More than one evening ended with her stomping down the hall, screaming, “Why don’t you trust me?” or my favorite “My dad is wrecking my life!”

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I’ve listened to the echo chamber of social media and traditional media telling me how technology makes the physical office obsolete and remote work is the office of our future. Many of the arguments make resistance to remote work a trust issue and conclude that every employer who does not offer full time remote work is the mean parent with trust issues and too many rules.


Instead, it's not that simple and the core of the issue is that there's a NEW view of the worker-employer relationships. It has been developed over the last decade by labor shortages, technology, COVID, and government policy. Deloitte issued a Human Capital Trends Special Report this year that identified four ways to describe the relationship between employers and employees. The first one is the New (to me) one and the next two are more traditional.


  • Work is Fashion – employers adapt and DESIGN and change culture around the latest worker sentiments to attract employees.

  • Work is a War (for and with Talent) – worker and employer are in a BATTLE. Employees leave for more money and employers believe everyone is replaceable.

  • Work is Work – work is professional, but workers and employers view their goals and responsibilities as two SEPERATE worlds.

At face value, the current conflict in the labor market is revealed through each of these three options. My contention is that each of the three is seriously flawed and create dysfunctional culture. I believe Deloitte’s fourth option is where an employer and employee need to be.


  • Work with a Purpose Unleashed – employers have a communal relationship with workers, and they see a SHARED purpose in and through their relationship.


Those of you that know me understand that I am very skeptical of one size fits all when it comes to Corporate America; but the EOS worldwide approach is very valuable in building a winning culture in the current labor market. It can be used by employers to build culture that meets the needs of a workforce that has different expectations than my generation had 25 years ago.


EOS teaches developing and living out shared values will create a culture that attracts workers and a culture that will succeed during a recession, a depression, and rapid progression (growth). And remember an important EOS directive - shared BY all is very different than shared WITH all. The process of developing the purpose should be iterative and collaborative.


There’s a couple of potential three and four day weekends coming up and I encourage you to take some time and read What the Heck Is EOS?: A Complete Guide for Employees in Companies Running on EOS.


P.S. 1,650 days until my oldest grand daughter turns 13 - Payback is a b*tch.

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