The 40-year Employee
The 40-year Employee
1. Who has failed, John or the company?
John might believe that the company failed him by refusing to give him the best jobs and by not immediately offering him the new position despite his seniority. However, the truth is that it was John who failed himself and the company. In the beginning, John proved his value through the important information and insights about the department that only his long experience and familiarity with the process can provide. However, when the business grew and its processes changed, John got left behind and his expertise became useless old news. Instead of progressing along with the business, John became decisively stagnant. He clutched to the old way of doing things, which unfortunately turned out to be the slower, harder, and more costly process. Refusing to change rather than being unable to, John became company deadweight. No matter what opportunity for learning came along his way, John did not make any effort to progress his skills. In rejecting self-development, John failed both himself and the company.
2. Does the company owe something to a 40-year employee? If so, what?
It is very rare to find an employee who has worked for the same company for 40 years. It is even rarer when the said employee has proven to be very competent and helpful to the success of the company. Over the years, emotional attachments may have formed, but the bottom line for employee-company relationship is to do business and get paid for it. In a strictly business view, companies do not owe anything to employees as they pay them to do their jobs, regardless of whether they has been working for under a year or over thirty years. However, businesses are made up of people with capacity for emotions. Thus, companies do feel 40-year employees deserve a “thank you” for all services performed and loyalty shown. Companies show employees their gratitude by rewarding them with compensation such as pensions and retirement funds.
3. What type of development program would you recommend for John?
John may feel that his seniority and long-term stay with the company qualifies him for the managerial post. However, these qualities are not the only important requirement for the position. To become an effective manager, one should have intense knowledge and experience of the generals and particulars of the work being done. John needs to master the new processes to understand the development happening to the department. He needs to accept the new processes to be able to lead the teams. He needs to catch up on the new and more cost-effective technology that the company is currently using. If he wants to be a credible manager, John must become open to the changes, be involved with the teams’ work, and use technology at a higher level than his subordinates.