The C Level Employment Agreement — Managing the At Will Employee Relationship

Big Red Car here.  Nice windy and cool day in the ATX.  Kind of hard to figure what kind of day this is really going to be?  We shall see.  Cloudy with thunderstorms is what the Intellicast man says.  Who really knows, it’s Texas.

So the Big Red Car gets an email — haha, the Big Red Car gets an email — from an Old Sport who asks:

“Hey, Big Red Car, this C Level Employment Agreement stuff is great for a CEO but what about us guys in the cubes?  We ain’t chopped liver, we’re software engineers, SEO experts and the like.  How do we get some diluted CEO love?”

Sayeth the Big Red Car — hey, nerds, you don’t get any CEO type love.  That’s just for CEOs.  Haha.  Sorry.  Yes, you do get some CEO type love and here is how.

Hiring great talent

Every company is only as good as its human resources, its people, its talent.  True statement.  Better the talent, better the company.  Better the company, more world class talent wants to come aboard.  It is a simple truth.

To get great talent, you have to be proficient at what you are doing or intend to do and entice folks to want to join your team.  Believe it or not, it all starts with the quality of the CEO’s vision.  Bit of proselytizing at work here.

Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values and Culture — this information has to be so well developed that folks say — “Hey, I want to join that team.”  Special Forces is special and its “specialness” is the allure but SF knows its Vision, Mission, Strategy, Tactics, Objectives, Values and Culture — cold.  You join SF, SF does not join you.

These core building blocks are very important.

The hiring process and documentation

Once you have negotiated the addition of a new team member, you have to document the deal in some form that will allow both of you to know “what’s the deal?”

This is typically done by an Employment Offer Letter and a Basis of Employment, Job Description.

Here is an example of a generic Employment Offer Letter.

Generic employment offer letter

Here is an example of a Basis of Employment, Job Description document.

Generic Basis of Employment and Job Description document

They are both real documents which The Boss used in the past.  They have a bit of age on them but the structure, content and issues are applicable to a new hire today.  You will want to tailor them to YOUR specific use but the concepts are clear.  Follow the concepts.

One of the most important concepts in both documents is that nothing is intended to change the “at will” nature of the employment arrangement.

So, Grasshopper, that is how an At Will Employee gets just a smidgen of that CEO type love through the original Employment Offer Letter and the Basis of Employment, Job Description document.

But, hey, what the Hell do I know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car.




  • Thank you BRC!

    • JLM

      Don’t tell anyone that you are able to assign homework to the Big Red Car, ruins the image. Haha.

      I think the notion of written Employment Offer Letters and a Basis of Employment, Job Description — detailed documents, beats the Hell out of catered Friday tacos.

      Because it takes real work to do it correctly and the at will employee is engaged and understands — wow, these guys really love me.