If you get paid by the hour, and not the task, is there an incentive to work any harder?
Some would say, No.
If you can’t take clients with you when you leave a job, or even contact them, is there any incentive to really fostering those great connections and relationships with those folks?
Some would say, No.
My thoughts on the study? I share this Florida attorney’s thoughts on the study — Richard Tuschman . Maybe the study is reflective of real life . Maybe not.
Maybe common sense tells us that when Generation Y folks anticipate changing jobs every 2-4 years, they are smart enough to save a little for themselves. Meaning, why go above and beyond to build relationships and turn business connections into real connections, if you have to pretend those people don’t exist when you leave a job?
I fully admit my bias. I don’t like non-compete agreements. I do not like them Sam I am. I don’t think they are necessary and my gut does tell me they stifle productivity. I also think people are pretty simple. Treat them well, pay them what their work is worth – and you create loyal employees. Belittle them with documents that categorize their years of work as someone else’s confidential information, use words like injunction and liquidated damages when defining the relationship, and we transform human relationships into rote, mechanical cycles.
People want to matter. And when you minimalize someone’s work by defining it in contractual terms, I doubt you will get their best.
Dear Virginia Employee:
I wanted to thank you for being glued to your smart phone.
I wanted to thank you for treating that small device, owned by your employer, like it is your own.
Checking your personal email, texting clients at all hours, and making disparaging remarks about your co-workers and boss in these text messages, keeps my phone ringing, bills paid, and child fed.
You see, dear Employee, that little warm box you hold so dear – is not really yours. It is owned by someone else. They can get access to your calls, and texts. Arguably they can read your personal communications when you return it – AND, in some situations, if you delete these communications from the device before you return it, you can be accused of destroying evidence.
I am grateful for your thoughtless behavior because when you get sued for (a) taking trade secrets (emailing them from your work account to your gmail account); (b) breaching your fiduciary duty (by telling your clients to wait a few weeks until you get rolling at your new firm); and (c) defaming your old company (by telling your clients in personal email that the owner doesn’t know what he is doing), you will need legal help. And that is where I come in.
On Facebook, Linked in and Instragram? Yeah, me too. And when LinkedIn sends your whole contact list an update that you have changed jobs, and your old company sues you for “soliciting customers” in breach of your non-compete, you may also call me and ask – what gives?
Technology is changing the world, but sadly in some circumstances, our behavior has not caught up to the technology.
Dearest employee, with the beloved smartphone in hand, pocket or purse, if you are considering a transition from one job to another in the next 1 year — YOU NEED to get organized. You may need help in making the change in a legal and practical manner that protects you from litigation. If you need such help, we would be happy to help.
Sent from her smart phone – owned by the firm, and not her.
Today is Friday. If you are anything like me, you are making plans in your mind for the weekend. Maybe a run. Maybe some laundry. Maybe you are the person who needs some long awaited alone time in your family. Maybe you are planning on wearing your PJs all Saturday with your 18 month old, so you can snuggle and read books. Yes, dead give away – that is my weekend plan.
Tonight, rather than calmly telling your loving and devoted spouse that you want to play golf tomorrow, or go for a hike or go fishing, you should hire an attorney to write your spouse a letter, or send a text. The attorney should write:
Dear Mrs. Morgan:
I represent your husband. He has retained me to inquire whether you are willing to allow him a few moments of freedom tomorrow so that he can engage in recreational activity, the nature of which is yet to be determined.
This will likely require a 4-6 hour window away from the family beginning at around 9am.
Please respond to this request in writing before 6pm this evening, or we will deem the request to be granted and understood.
Very truly yours, Attorney Joe Schmoe
Would I really advise someone to hire an attorney to communicate a basic and reasonable request to a spouse they still love and want to remain married to? Of course not.
Attorneys typically get involved when there is conflict that cannot be resolved between parties. It is a waste of time and money to have an attorney make a request to your wife at dinner – don’t you think?
So why then, Virginia employee, would you think it appropriate and helpful to hire an attorney to send your new employer a letter demanding changes to your new employment contract? Don’t you want your employer to like you? Don’t you want to get along? Isn’t your requested change reasonable and just? Don’t you agree that having a lawyer speak on your behalf seems threatening, unnecessary and aggressive?
That is why when you – Virginia employee – call me to ask for advice and evaluation of your potential employment agreement, and you may want to negotiate new and better terms, I let you do the talking. I may help draft written communication (from you), advise certain changes and language, but I serve my role as YOUR ADVISOR – the man (in my case woman) behind the curtain.
Do you recall the reverence Dorothy felt toward “The great and powerful Oz,” up until the moment she met the great and powerful Oz?
Once she met the guy she knew he was a joke.
If you enter into an employment arrangement with a lawyer by your side because you can’t speak for yourself, things don’t often go well. Now I agree there are exceptions. I am sure when any A list celebrity agrees to a film, the lawyers go to town on the contracts before work ever starts. Please remember, you are not a celebrity. You are a normal, doctor, lawyer, plumber, insurance rep or accountant. You want to make a good impression. You want to protect yourself (thereby you hire a lawyer) without jeopardizing your new role with the presence of a lawyer.
You want to be thoughtful, smart and productive. I seriously doubt your colleagues will consider you any of these traits if your first inclination is to hire the lawyer to do the talking.
Don’t believe me?
Have an attorney send your wife an email tonight and let me know how that goes. If she believes the communication appropriate, lovely and well received, then I suggest you have your same attorney call your new boss to negotiate your new contract on your behalf too.