*Note to reader: This letter is not aimed at my employer. It is aimed at many employers. This is a product of conversations of one employee to others. It’s not a result of my impression, it’s a result of impressions of many.
9th September 2017
Let me start off by saying that this is not a letter of complaint. This is a letter of concern – growing concern for our relationship, OUR business and OUR success.
We’ve been together for a while now, but I feel like we’ve drifted apart. We don’t speak anymore. Maybe you think we do, but talking ‘to’ someone and ‘at’ someone isn’t the same thing. Not even close. This is supposed to be a relationship, a two-way conversation. Instead, we coexist but we don’t engage. Not in a way I’d like us to. So here I am, writing this letter. I want you to listen. For your own sake, stop for a moment and hear me out.
There are some things I want you to know. First of all, I am forever grateful for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to be a part of your world. When you hired me I became a part of your company – the place you’ve worked very hard to build. This place became my second home. I am here every day. Every day I put my skills and time into making you proud, into making your business successful, therefore, into making you successful. I try my best to earn your respect and truly earn the money you pay me. But with you not listening I don’t feel like I’m getting the respect back. Moreover, by ignoring myvoice you take away your chance to improve your business. Why? Because I know this company better than anyone else – better than your clients, better than your business partners, possibly better than you know it yourself. However, with you ignoring my voice I start losing the connection I have with my work. Let me explain.
Imagine this: you’re at home with your partner. Backstory: you don’t see each other often, they’re at work a lot, you spend more time at home. They pay the bills, you end up doing chores and maintaining the place. Anyway, you’re finally both at home. The home you’re at every day, the home you both care about, the one you both want to make a better place. I bet you have so many ideas on how to achieve this. Hundreds of them. Now, imagine you sit in front of your partner, look them in the eye and initiate a conversation. You give them your time, your thoughts, all of the ideas you have to improve the home you share: you should insulate to reduce your energy bills, there’s a little mould on the wall in the bathroom – a new extraction fan will fix this. They look at you, nod and go: “Yeah, sounds good, Hun!.” The next day you get a text update from them saying there will be people coming to fit a new kitchen in, so you’d better be home to let them in.
In a place where your voice is being ignored and changes are introduced without an explanation on why they are being introduced, can you really feel like you’re a part of the bigger picture? In fact, you dismissing my ideas without entertaining them results in me feeling disconnected from my work. My commitment to your organisation decreases. I’m becoming less motivated, less productive and, therefore, less loyal. At this point I could carry on doing my work, but how good the quality of this work would be and how satisfied with it would I feel ? The answers are: ‘not great’ and ‘not very’. Eventually I’d leave, find someone else to commit my time and skills to. And while my skills are replaceable, my loyalty isn’t.
Someone once told me my generation wasn’t willing to stick to one organisation for longer than three years. I didn’t agree. I am willing to stay with you as long as I feel my skills and effort are being appreciated, as long as I feel my opinion matters to you and as long as you’re giving me vision. As difficult as it is to find a committed and loyal employee, it also is to find an employer who wants to listen to and hear the voice of their employees.
People like me are valuable. I want to work for you, I want to commit, I want to be a part of the bigger picture. I also need to be getting more for it, than my monthly pay check. I want a relationship with you. I’m reaching out to you, please don’t leave me hanging.