The relationship between employership and employeeship

Marlies Pellikaan

How can you easily explain the relationship between employership and employeeship? In this blog, we provide a simple analogy to explain the relationship.

The relationship between employership and employeeship

Corporate success

Every organisation is keen to be successful. Being successful can be seen as fulfilling the organisation’s mission and achieving results.

Employees play a crucial role in this success: they are the innovators, the customer contact and the production engine of the organisation. Success depends on what kind of people are in the organisation, what their qualities are, employee engagement and the level of employee commitment. These elements can be grouped under employeeship.

7 secrets of the best employers

At the same time, success depends on the organisation, and whether organisations create the right working environment where employees can develop and achieve. It is the responsibility of an organisation to be a good employer by exhibiting good employership; mainly enabling employees to reach their potential.

Ignoring external factors, success therefore depends on both the effort put in by the organisation’s employees, and the effort put in by the organisation itself. We’re able to sum up the relationship between the two with the following analogy.

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Imagine your employee as someone who is trying to make headway on a bicycle. Their effort, engagement and willingness to pedal, their skill in cycling and physical power can be seen as employeeship.

You can see good employership as the wind. When organisation’s employership is geared towards enabling employees to develop and achieve, there is a tailwind. Employees still have to pedal if they want to get ahead, but the tailwind helps them along the journey.


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Good employership

When an organisation’s employership is not geared towards enabling employees, there is a headwind. By pedalling hard employees can make some headway, but after a while the headwind becomes exhausting, and eventually demotivating. 

2 crucial elements for productive employees

There are of course, external influences from outside the organisation. Such influences can be seen in our analogy as the gradient or quality of the road surface. Whilst they are influential, if the cyclist (employee) pedals hard enough with a strong tailwind, they can be overcome.  

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