The Employee speaks:

You could completely change my cynical opinions about the selfish motivations of most companies.

You could be the surprising exception of good corporate governance amongst your competitors and I could become a fan of your brand, your culture and your operations.

Your company could benefit from my expertise, passion and loyalty. I could become so emotionally invested in your company, that when the chips are down – when your corporate reputation takes a hit due to whatever crisis and your stock price plummets – you could count on me to hang around and to stick it out. You cannot buy this affective commitment and my decision to stay in your company, the improbability of lifelong employment notwithstanding, would be the result of three key reasons.

I would stay in your company a really long time IF…

1) You inculcate a culture of transparency, credibility and fairness

I can appreciate that this point might come as a big surprise to you but it is actually the most powerful incentive for a long tenure in your organisation.

But it must be done the right way and it must be sustainable.

I realise that due to different dynamics, Management would change often but values should not. In fact, values should be certain and unyielding.

You must strive to be transparent. Ensure that guidelines for operations are clear and develop checks to prevent sabotage and/or incompetence. It must be consistently communicated that every member of the organisation is accountable for his actions: from you, Mr CEO, to the new associate who has just begun his career.

Aspire to become credible. Remove bottlenecks and eliminate unethical practices and fraudulent inclinations. I am a straight arrow; most of your employees are, so encourage us to continue to be that way. You are the most important driver of perceptions, so make your actions reflect your convictions.

You also need to prioritise fairness. Your policies, especially when they affect interpersonal relationships and professional development, must be fair. Moreover, compensation, benefits and entitlements should all be given when due and should not be delayed by internal politics. Remuneration at the very least should be within the acceptable industry range. Espouse diversity and eliminate discrimination.

Do a corporate culture overhaul and I would not be going anywhere.

2) You ensure excellent professional development

The fact that I sought out your company, applied for my job and now, that I generally like my role is a good indication that I actually want to stay in your company.

But I need to be challenged. I need to find purpose in my career and I need to grow.

Therefore, providing me with essential training and encouraging me to become responsible for my own professional development, whilst providing me with the support, time and resources in order to do so, would speak volumes to me.

For example, supporting me in a  new career path (I  might want to switch departments or functional responsibilities) as well as approving a study leave for me to pursue my master’s or to upgrade my skills, whilst guaranteeing my job security, would be fantastic.

Likewise, being considered for a coveted role after the newly acquired qualifications, or making international work placements available, would be viewed with great appreciation.

Factor in a couple of dedicated and experienced executives to mentor me at every stage of my career development and I promise you this — I would not be leaving you any time soon.

3) You communicate clearly and consistently

And I mean communicating in simple language, regularly and without bias. In fact, clear communication must be encouraged, especially by your executive cadre. Good communication is not a privilege; it is a necessity for greater organisational effectiveness.

Let us also not forget the importance of feedback. Without timely and factual feedback, your vision, company initiatives and goals neither would be effective nor supported. There just would be too much ambiguity and prolonged speculation to make acceptance possible. Moreover, I would not care for anything that I do not understand or believe in.

You may want to make an investment in your internal communications function. Among other things, it is believed that this move would create a cooperative culture, incite talent development and promote internal branding.

The Age Of Social Media

We also live in the digital age and virtually all your employees have smartphones, tablets, and other communication devices. The ease with which we communicate today is unprecedented, making opinionated people powerful advocates of company brands or formidable adversaries. So I suggest you use the power of social media to build your corporate reputation.

We may be out of the office most of the time but no matter how busy we are, we, your employees, use our devices. Most of us are active on at least one of the major social media platforms where we share information, vent, and discuss breaking news.

Your company has hopefully realised the importance of social media to its corporate identity and you may have set up a social media team to manage the company’s online presence. Slots on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and even YouTube might even be in the works.

But here is the thing Mr CEO — you are not visible online and that somewhat bothers me. This is because I believe that your presence would make your company’s social strategy more authentic.

In fact, I have read some interesting research that was carried out by Weber Shandwick, in partnership with KRC. They surveyed over 600 senior executives from 10 markets worldwide. They revealed that 76% of global executives wanted their CEOs to engage in social media. The benefits of this engagement included a positive impact on the company’s reputation and business results, the improved ability to share company news/information, and communicating more directly with employees, customers, and other key stakeholders.

This all makes sense given that social media is all about relationships and about building trust.

I suggest Mr CEO, that you join Twitter at the very least and regularly post messages about company news, relevant industry insights and your opinions. If I were to become one of your followers, then receiving updates from you would make me more inclined to trust you. Obviously, the more I trust you, the more committed I would become in my job and the more likely I would  remain in your company.

Do not be overly anxious about putting yourself ‘out there’. Many CEOs, founders and notable personalities do it. To name a few: Richard Branson of the Virgin Group tweets regularly about company information and causes after his own heart, as does Bill Gates of Microsoft and Arianna Huffington, President/Editor-In-Chief of the Huffington Post media group. Then in January this year, Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group and according to Forbes, Africa’s richest man in 2013, joined the world of Twitter.

So, Mr CEO, you would be in great company if you take your cues from them.


Contrary to what those in management circles may think — it is not always about the money when a professional is considering a long, successful tenure in an organisation.

All the points I have given could be summed up in a single piece of advice:

Show me by both your words and actions that you really care about the things that matter to my career and I would return the favour.  I would go ‘over and beyond’ in my duties and I would stay with you for a really long time.

It is really that simple.

So, what is your strategy for retaining me?


Property of Rethinking Business Communications Blog

This blog post was written because a viewer made the suggestion in the ‘comments’ section in February.

So kindly keep your suggestions coming. We may not be able fulfill all your requests but we would aim to post articles that are related to our overall theme of business communications.

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Trust At The Workplace – How To Get It AND Keep It

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5 Replies to “I Plan To Stay In Your Company A Long Time IF…”

  1. Many thanks for your comment. The core values you mentioned are of course crucial.

    I personally do not believe that a fatter pay cheque will be enough to entice to stay in a company lacking certain values, in the long term, although I might grit my teeth and endure working there for a short period.

    However, I can appreciate the dilemma one may face when working in a company with terrible values or working for one which lacks integrity.

    It would be interesting to read the experiences from readers.

  2. Many thanks for your comment. The core values you mentioned are of course crucial.

    I personally do not believe that a fatter pay cheque will be enough to entice to stay in a company lacking certain values, in the long term, although I might grit my teeth and endure working there for a short period.

    However, I can appreciate the dilemma one may face when working in a company with terrible values or working for one which lacks integrity.

    It would be interesting to read the experiences from readers.

  3. Great Article, I think it can simply be summarized in core values of Honesty, Fairness and Transparency. Employees tend to be attracted to authenticity, that is to say walking the talk, cant go wrong if you are seen to preach and demonstrate fairness in all that is done.

  4. Hello Philip,

    Many thanks for your kind words and for taking out the time to read my blog.

    I am glad you have realised that communication is central to building business relationships and in boosting overall performance. That is what my blog explores.

    If you are new, do read through the list of the eight hottest articles in the last seven days which you would see at the top right sidebar of the homepage.

    Remember to sign up for new blog updates and to register to become a 'follower' of this blog; details of which you would see in the sidebar as well.

    Do keep in touch and have a good weekend!

  5. Dear Lucille,

    Thank you first for a fabulous blog and some good pointers for me.

    I'm developing a different model of doing business for an enterprise I'm formulating and although your blog relates to keeping employees , it just as well relates to keeping and growing business associates.

    Communications is such a key element of business and I'll keep your details for future contact.

    Wishing you continued success,


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