Saturday, 4 November 2017

The Hard Truth about Employees and Companies

Have you heard or yourself made such comments before:
"How could the company be retrenching people when they are making profits?"
"Why can't the company provide us with more benefits, they are so rich, it's just peanuts to them." 
"Why does the company only ask me to work, but never send me for any training?"
"I sacrificed so much family time for the company, why am I not promoted?" 

Whenever I read or hear such comments, it just make me wonder why do people not realize the truth about the relationship between employees and companies? As a corporate warrior for nine years and counting, each year only reminds me more firmly about this hard truth. 

Companies exist to accomplish the vision of the owners. It could be to leave a legacy, fulfill their dreams, make money or whatever. It's never, I repeat, NEVER for the employees. To a company, employing an employee is a transaction. A transaction for a service the employee can provide for the firm, to allow it to achieve the vision. This is similar to you going to the hairdresser for a haircut. The hairdresser gives you a haircut and you pay him or her. Or you going to the supermarket to buy milk. You get the milk, the supermarket gets the money. Simply, a transaction. 

To be blatant, employees are just a pawn to accomplish the vision of a company, in return for something (money or pay). To allow the pawn to help achieve the company's goals, some companies may provide training, have good benefits and so on. But the ultimate goal is to ensure that the pawn helps it achieve the target.

So what benefit does the pawn get? 

While we understand that companies exist for themselves (the owners), it does not mean that the employee is always at the losing end. For one thing, the company has to pay the employee for the work which allows the employee to accumulate and work on this  pennies to create his/her wealth. As employees, we should make full use of the opportunity when given to work for this company. How you make full use really depends on your ultimate goal. It could be to earn reputation in a certain area to spring board your career, gain experience, learn a new skill through doing, and of course build wealth from the pay. 

Since companies exist for their own goals, the pawns (employees) exist for their own goals as well. 

Once you understand this hard truth, you will know that no one owes anyone a living. The company employ you for the service they want from you, and you agreed to provide them with such service to the required standards. If the company wants you to make sacrifices that you are against your goals, then it's your job to prevent that. 

Remember, it's a transaction. 

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  1. I guess not everyone is like you (yet). Not everyone has achieved the required mindset change from seeing us as an employee to viewing us as being the CEO of our ME Pte Ltd.

    The definition of an employee: A person who exchanges time for money in a position below the executive level. Exchanging time for money. That's just a transaction.

    So, we are the CEO of our ME Pte Ltd. What does that make our boss?

    Our customer of course.

    That concept is not an option, it’s mandatory. It’s not just an idea where you have a choice.  It’s a fact like the sunshine, the rain or the weather.
    The sooner we accept this concept, the sooner we move to the front in the information age.

    1. Tacomob,

      You are awesome. Your comments succinctly says what I'm writing in this entire article.

      Just curious though, why would an employee be someone below executive level though? Those being in executive level and above, make one less an employee?

    2. Hi Rena, you got a point there. I just quoted one of "employee definitions" I found on the Internet. Actually everyone besides the owner of the business would be an employee. Even the CEO is just a highly paid employee (with a capital 'C' in front of her 'E').

  2. Hi Mr CEO,

    Yeah, that's precisely how I felt when was a corporate warrior, slogging along travelling too much. Nobody cared how much you worked and only you yourself will know that one fine day, the companies will axe you mercilessly. Nobody is indispensable and not everyone likes to hear the truth of it.

    1. Hi Jes,

      I feel you.

      My job is somewhat like your previous, travelling so much that I am a platinum member of some hotel chains, and Krisflyer Gold (just by flying around Asia economy). My company claim that this is perks for staff, as we get to use the miles, and points for our personal use. So what?

      I had my first kid (about same year as you) and am expecting #2. One day after 2 weeks of travel, my kid refused to talk to me. Sets me wondering, is it worth it? It's not the company's business to care. I am paid for it. But it's my business to care.

      I admire your courage to take the step in something you believe in. It's never easy starting your new business and all the best in Snackfirst and your entrepreneurship journey.