I’ve been lucky to only work for four companies in my professional career as a graphic designer and creative individual (and one of them is my own freelance outfit). The most recent company I work for I only joined a few months ago and I love it. Therefore, in over 22 years, just three actual corporations have had me as an employee. I like to dig in and get involved and I don’t choose places to work lightly. Everything needs to match “me”. And I think companies like that too.
With that said, what is it that allows certain individuals to stay at a company for so long and still do good work while maintaining a solid reputation in the industry? For me, it comes down to RESPECT.
But, does RESPECT go both ways?
Let’s look at the aspects of RESPECT from the employee side…
- I respect the company I work for because it has a history of excellence and service for the customer. (Company side I’ve seen: Of course, this history can change over time as members or owners change.)
- I respect the companies that support my company because they are the highest quality vendors in the industry. (Company side I’ve seen: Of course, this can change if management chooses to lower standards.)
- I respect the company I work for because of the very experienced and talented people who work there, which makes me that much more talented and experienced. (Company side I’ve seen: Of course, this can change as people leave and less experienced people are brought on board for less money. Or maybe lie about what a former employee did so we can make another excuse for our failure to a client, even though that employee was the best we had.)
- I respect the company because it pays me what I’m worth. (Company side I’ve seen: Of course, this can change if you never get a raise, see others take bonuses before you, find checks are bouncing due to financial difficulty, or generally feel the company finances are totally mismanaged.)
Let’s look at the aspects of RESPECT from the company side…
- We respect the employee because he has expert level of experience and is always willing to learn new tasks and take on new projects as part of his ever expanding role. Of course, if we can find someone to do the same job for less, we would be open to talks.
- We respect the companies we work with to fill our needs because they are the best level of quality and customer service. However, should we find other companies to do “similar” work for less, we would be willing to forego certain aspects of customer service. Even if that means our own customers may experience a drop in service themselves. We can always find an excuse for that.
- We respect our team because they are a group that shares with each other in a healthy corporate environment that we encourage at all times and try to build teams in workshops. But, if we can find a way to slightly increase sales by separating each individual so they no longer have a “team” to work from, by removing meetings as a whole, and simply forcing people to feel they have their job on the line for every number, we would consider it.
- We respect our entire workforce by paying them a wage they deserve. However, if we can push that payment to the next cycle, or maybe drop their commission, or perhaps just never raise wages until they leave, so we simply replace them, even if the person they get replaced by doesn’t know what they are doing, that would allow us to increase sales so we can pay the bank.
RESPECT is something you earn. Many don’t deserve it. Do you know anyone or any company that might fit this description? I know at least one.
I choose to work for people I trust. If trust is lost, you lose me. Honesty is key to any relationship, in both business and life. I’ve seen too many people lose jobs due to dishonest decisions by bosses and companies. Generally, it is only because they themselves are terrible business people that the situation came about.
And that is the key really isn’t it? Some of us are professionals. Others are terrible business people. But often the terrible ones somehow end up owning the company. And those of us that are professionals are just the employee because we are so engrossed in our skills, we couldn’t even fathom running the place at the same time.
WE ARE JUST THAT TALENTED AND SKILLED!
You need us.
Of course, I’m simply speaking in hypothetical terms here and not basing this on personal experience. I’m quite happy with my current position. And past positions got me where I am today. Just feedback from the many associates I remain in contact with in my industry. Never burn bridges. Always know how others are doing.