Knapp’s Relational Development Model talks about 10 stages of relationships, grouped into ‘coming together’ phase and ‘growing apart’ phase, as shown in the figure. He also says that a relationship may move backward and forward in these stages and it might also become stagnant at one particular stage. For example, relationship may come back to intensifying stage from the integration stage when couples break up, or like in case of most married couples it may become stagnant at bonding stage. Seems about right, doesn’t it!
For some reason, I was thinking about this relationship life-cycle parallel to employee life-cycle and I found interesting similarities. On this auspicious day of Valentine, let’s analyze these similarities in terms of various functions of HR in an employee life-cycle.
Recruitment process, in both cases, receives too many applications for a single position. You have to go through numerous rounds of selection where everything is assessed – your looks, personality, intellect, behavior and even experience.
Starting phase of your relationship and your job is just like a dream coming true. Everything seems beautiful, perfect and you are always carrying a smile on your face. This is known as Induction Period (or the honeymoon phase).
Just after you join, be it a relationship or a job you have to undergo rigorous Training and Development. In job, you have to get acquainted with company culture, organizational policies, your roles and responsibilities whereas in relationship you have to learn about other person’s likes/dislikes, his/her sleeping, eating and drinking habits.
There are Compensations & Benefits in both – in job you get salary, insurance, social security and experience whereas in relationship you get companionship, sexual gratification, love and self-esteem.
February month is most critical in both as it is the Annual Appraisal time. In job, you are supposed to submit your self-reviews and receive feedback where your whole year’s performance is reviewed; in relationship too this is annual review time as it’s Valentine’s day. Here also your whole year’s performance is reviewed – how many gifts you gave, how many times you looked at other (hot) girls, how many times you didn’t call and most importantly how you made this valentine special. In either case, if you screw up in month of February you are screwed for the next whole year.
Growth is ultimate objective of a job as well as a relationship. In job, you want to move up the corporate ladder and in relationship you want to move up the Knapp’s Relational Development Model.
Although, both may get monotonous after certain period of time, relationships and jobs are inevitable for our survival. This February I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day and an Excellent Appraisal!!!