The employee-employer relationship is a twofold one. We must remember that the roles of each must be kept in harmony, for when one falls out of their roles and fails to respect the other; both parties will end up in disarray.
Firstly, the employee must be grateful to the employer for having been given the opportunity to be employed. The employee must respect the employer because they are giving the employee a form of sustenance. Without an employer, the employee would perish. [edit: I guess that is a slightly grim view to take, but reiterating, without some sort of employer, the employee has a slimmer chance of survival. Think about this for yourself.]
However, secondly, and I believe just as importantly, the employer must always respect the rights of the employee. The employer must recognise that the employee is taking their valuable time and energy and dedicating it to the endeavours of the employer. For that dedication, the employer must be grateful to their fullest extent.
Only when both parties recognise this can the operation flourish. Furthermore however, it is the employer’s duty to ensure that the employee is kept happy, not just in the work environment, but also outside it. All operations are a harmonious balance of relationships and it is the duty of the employer to ensure that the relationships are kept in said balance. If the employer fails to sustain these relationships in balance, then the operation will fail.
What I mean by harmonious balance is simple. Every operation is a network of relationships, no matter what the outcome of the operation may be, classified by duties in respect to the operation. The size and length of the network obviously differs between operations, but the relationships are nonetheless identical. Employer A communicates to Employer B who then communicates to Employer C (and so on), who thus communicates the outcome of the operation while still fulfilling their duties. It is this network of relationships that sustains the operation. It is therefore fair to say that when rifts appear in the network, the operation will fail to meet its intended outcome.
And I wrote this follow-up today
A lot of that first piece was either unclear or ambiguous. Let me elaborate.
First of all the relationship from the employees point of view. Every person that is employed by an enterprise has a responsibility to follow the instructions of the employer to the best of their abilities [There is lee-way in this matter which I will get to later however]. The employee must always keep in the back of their mind the fact that they were given the chance of employment, of work, within the enterprise. As a result of this opportunity of employment, the employee is better able to cope within the outside world, not just financially, but also socially due to the relationships the employee makes within the enterprise. The key point here is the opportunity, the single action that allows the employee to sustain a certain level of existence within a given society.
But the relationship is equally important from the employers point of view. It is always the responsibility of the employer that the employee is able to carry out their skills at the best of their abilities. A good employer is one that understands the outside relationships that the employee has and respects them, in order to keep the employee happy. When the employee is kept happy, he or she is much better able to work on the tasks at hand and as a result, productivity goes up. Pay is an important notion because underpay will make your employee worry about how to afford food and transport and other basic services and as a result will be unable to concentrate on the task. Overpay is equally dangerous in that the employee will thus remove themselves from the job more, devoting their time and energy to the things that their money can now buy.
But at what point can the employee say that although they are both physically and mentally able to do a task, they refuse? The ethics dilemma should arise when fundamental human values intrude on a job, when a task feels immoral to its very core. Guards in a concentration camp "were just doing their job" but that does not make their actions ethical. They should have, as a whole, understood that what they were doing was wrong and as a whole protested. The point is that the employer is not God. Although the employee has responsibilities towards the employer, the employer has a responsibility to ensure that socially, the tasks given to the employee are ethical.