This posting is part of my “Thoughts on Employment” series, detailing some lessons learned and general musings from my career as a software developer on what an employer can do to provide an effective, productive and attractive work environment for highly effective software development teams. For an index of postings in the series, please read the series summary.
Employment is a two-way relationship. As an employee, I agree to spend the majority of my waking hours performing tasks on your behalf. In return, my employer agrees to provide me with a steady paycheck and other benefits.
My employer keeps tabs on my performance with periodic performance reviews, production goals, etc. So how does the employee keep tabs on the employer? Make sure your living up to your end of the bargain - keep employees informed about the health of the company. Obviously, this is much easier in smaller, privately held companies, as the logistics and legalities are greatly simplified, but there are many, many options available to you.
One very important note: while you shouldn’t focus on the negative, it’s important to be truthful and forward with news and events that have a negative impact on your business.