Need to increase meaningful partnership at work? Try conducting a Workplace Covenant!
Why are some work partnerships exceptional while most are not? How can we establish and sustain an enhanced level of cohesion, connection, and collaboration in the most important work relationship, the one between a manager and team? What could remedy the high levels of isolation and anxiety so many feel at work these days?
Silver and Franz explore the concept of ‘meaningful partnership’ in the workplace. They present meaningful partnership as a mindset where both leaders and their teams are fully committed to ensuring the support and success of the other. Then, they describe a model called ERTAP, which stands for Empathy, Respect, Trust, Alignment, and Partnership, which is the foundation for meaningful partnership. Finally, they detail a practical yet transformative relationship-building process referred to as the Workplace Covenant. This enables leaders and teams to create mutual commitments with obligatory weight that help them to feel accountable for the success of the relationship and each other.
The book includes real client stories that illustrate the dimensions of partnership and the Workplace Covenant process. Silver and Franz also outline other work relationships that can benefit from meaningful partnership, pitfalls to avoid, relevant research, and insights derived from years of consulting experience.
This book is a must-read for leaders interested in a better working relationship with their team; for teams who have critical work partnerships with other teams; for individuals who work closely with other individuals and need an exceptional 1:1 partnership; and finally for third-party experts in HR or continuous improvement who are seeking a new powerful way to help clients feel supported and be more successful
Resources (updated regularly)
The Dreaded 4 Ds
This post on LinkedIn is about the link between dissatisfaction and departure
The Workplace Covenant
This diagram explains how The Workplace Covenant is a practical and easy-to-use process!
What is ERTAP?
This diagram shows the importance of ERTAP
Mindset, model, & medium
A diagram of the mindset, the model, and the medium
If you’re interested in more, this is our proposed Table of Contents
Endorsements for Our Forthcoming Book!
When teams work remotely, managers often ask, “How can I manage them if I can’t see them?” Whether virtual or co-located, however, The Workplace Covenant offers an eminently workable, practical approach that managers and team members will find indispensable to the performance management process. Wayne F. Cascio, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado
The Workplace Covenant: Creating Meaningful Partnership Between Leaders and Their Teams by Silver and Franz represents the next step beyond traditional thinking about employee engagement. While many treatments of engagement focus on how to build passion and commitment among individual workers, The Workplace Covenant focuses on how to build a corporate culture where the promise of engagement matches the corporate culture. Are you a manager or HR person looking for a way to take your organization to higher levels of productivity? If so, you really must look at this book. William J. Rothwell, Ph.D., CPLP Fellow, President, Rothwell & Associates, Inc.
The Workplace Covenant by Silver and Franz tackles a too often overlooked process for improving team effectiveness. This book provides a sound, step-by-step methodology for implementing covenants within your workplace. Backed-up by excellent examples along with compelling research, these pages are your roadmap for building strong, committed relationships as a means to improving team performance. Thomas A. Kayser, author of two McGraw-Hill business books: Mining Group Gold and Building Team Power.
This work does not fall under the category of “must read” but instead “must do!”. The Workplace Covenant is very timely and much needed by all organizations regardless of size or scope especially during times of upheaval and uncertainty. Fernán R. Cepero, Senior Human Resources Business Partner, YMCA of Greater Rochester, Association Office
The Workplace Covenant is the essence of employee engagement at the highest level, a true partnership between employees and leaders to transform the working relationship at all levels. A must read for HR leaders and more importantly for line leaders in their quest for a pathway to true employee input, exchange and engagement. Augustin Melendez, Chief HROD Officer, Hillside Family of Agencies ($160 million not-for-profit, 2300 employees)
These unprecedented times demonstrate how an organization’s culture must be grounded in having shared purpose and respect for human dignity. Silver and Franz provide all the details necessary to create a powerful team intervention that affects these exact elements. Paul M. Mastrangelo, Principal Strategist, CultureIQ
Silver and Franz powerfully demonstrate the primacy of team dynamics in organizational achievement – and then laser in on the pragmatics of establishing and sustaining the mutual obligations among team members that improve and accelerate outcomes. Both new and experienced managers can benefit from the processes detailed in this book. Matthew Cicchinelli, President, PAR Government (Defense Contractor)
The Workplace Covenant is one of the most effective ways to develop a genuine, intentional and productive relationship between a team and a leader. Even for established and respected leaders, the process that Silver and Franz outline is a powerful learning experience that results in true team unity and alignment. This book presents an opportunity for leaders (new and experienced) to move themselves, their teams and potentially their entire organization to the next level. James VonBramer, SHRM-CP, PHR, HR Works, Inc. Vice President, HR Consultant Services
Practical, insightful step-by-step roadmap for building and strengthening team/manager trust filled with wisdom and lessons learned from two pros with the rare combination of years of academic knowledge coupled with practical industry experience and know-how. From an internal HR business partner perspective, this is a ‘must read’ for any novice or expert level HR professional. Jean Rollins, HR Business Partner, University of Rochester Medical Center
Relationships matter. The Workplace Covenant provides a concise, practical, low-maintenance method to explore and unleash the power of teams in your organization. Britt Lui, Vice President, People & Development, Dixon Schwabl
The Workplace Covenant is both meaningful and practical. The ERTAP model–empathy, respect, trust, alignment, and partnership–is something many of us espouse without having named it. We might go as far as empathy, respect, and trust, but without the steps of aligning expectations and developing partnerships, these are only sentiments or attitudes, at best, not actions. As leaders and managers, we talk a great deal about building culture, but rarely take concrete, measurable steps in that direction. Silver and Franz give us specific steps to actually achieve this stated goal of creating a culture with leaders and followers full and conscious participants. Babak Elahi, Head of Liberal Studies, Kettering University
As part of a People Team, we spend an awful lot of time discussing engagement, surveying employees, analyzing net promoter score trends, etc. as a means to figure out the way to maximize performance through engagement. The best part of the book was its simplicity and applicability. It is clearly explained, justified, presented with examples, and packaged for use. You gave People professionals a step-by-step approach to improving relationships between managers and teams! Understanding what is important to our team members is a simple and basic step we often overlook. Laura Begg, Senior Director, Talent Management, Sapphire Digital
The Workplace Covenant by Silver and Franz shows us how employee engagement and alignment can take place through all levels of the organization – one team at a time. This focused book offers a straightforward guide for building effective and meaningful team partnerships. More than a one-shot intervention, the guided process described here helps assure follow-up and continuous improvement while brief case studies help the manager apply the Covenant concept to their particular situation. As an academic currently in a team leadership position myself, I particularly value the Covenant framework because it integrates years of practical organizational development experience with a sound theoretical model. This helps managers understand exactly what they are trying to accomplish with their teams and why it works at a deeper level. Written in a lively and accessible manner, this book will inspire confidence in the first-time manager and prompt the experienced executive to settle for nothing less than the full potential of their team. Scott Seibert, Ph.D., Professor of Human Resource Management & Department Chair, Rutgers University
The Workplace Covenant is a proven powerful process that truly allows any organization to build and expand upon the vital team leader and team member partnerships necessary for the creation of more highly engaged and aligned cultures that impact lives, businesses, and bottom lines. It’s a win-win for all parties. Silvio Proaño, former HR Executive at C.R. Bard, Johnson & Johnson, and Bristol Myers Squibb
Whenever I facilitate the course: “Leadership, Negotiation, and Teamwork,” I impress upon the students that leadership is about relationship, negotiation is about relationship, and teamwork is about relationship. This is a profoundly simple yet complex construct. How do we initiate, define, maintain, and sometimes repair team relationships? We need a Mindset, a Model, and a Medium. This excellent book equips both the team leadership and the team members with the Mindset, Model, and Medium. This toolkit enables teams to succeed and thereby improve the organization’s bottom line through higher performance, higher engagement, and lower attrition rates. If teams are the “Corvettes” of organizations, and they are, and if teams need careful design and care, and they do, then this book is essential for every organization that hopes to leverage the full and impressive impact of teams! Rob Elkington, Professor, Ontario Tech University, and CEO and President, GLI (Global Leadership Initiatives)