The virtue of being a good employee means, being aligned towards the vision and mission of the company. To help the company in removing obstacles that prevent from achieving the vision and work towards adding more value or re-defining the vision itself. A non obvious way of preventing the obstacles is to bring to notice to those who have power to fix those problems.
The article on Why good employees leave or quit has been doing massive rounds in my friends circle through Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin. I search for it on the internet and there are thousands of articles that always point to one key thing – good employees don’t leave the organization, they leave their boss or manager.
I disagree if good employees who care for the organization would just say, “I care a f**k about the organization now as I just hate this guy I am reporting with and want to go somewhere else“.
I was an employee too, of several organizations. I wasn’t all lucky to work with great managers all through my job hops for the awesome place. I never quit any job for money nor with a job in hand. I quit jobs hoping for a better environment that is conducive to creativity and change. I thought large companies like Motorola had it but I was wrong.
I have high ambitions. As simple as to change the way the world tests software. As simple as to help IT services companies re-think their business models and the value they add to their customers.
Whenever I found a great manager to work with – there were things that were not in his or her control that slowed me down from bringing change to the world. There were business people who saw great ideas but also saw when these ideas are implemented, their volume comes down and resisted change. I quit organizations even if there were great managers I worked with. I just felt sorry for the great manager in there and recognized that some organizations don’t even know why they are surviving or making profits. I strongly believe that even the greatest of managers in organizations that don’t empower them to change things would end up making the great managers, not so great over time.
I started this company 2 years, 2 months and 7 days ago. We were just 2 people in a garage and I knew everything happening in there. Even the lizards that dropped in to say Hi to the auto rickshaws that disturbed us from far. In an year, we were about 13 people. I stopped hearing the auto rickshaws but my focus was on listening to my people. I kinda knew the obstacles my people had in delivering great value and was committed to clear them off those obstacles. Today, we are 50 people and a re-org internally that has my core team reporting to me and I am only listening to my core team obstacles and helping them clear off. I don’t know all obstacles that people reporting to those who report to me have. I am no longer spotting a lizard and I almost forgot about the auto rickshaws till I wrote this paragraph. I am flooded with things that needs to be done to make this company more enjoyable to work with for my team.
By the virtue of being a co-founder, co-visionary behind the company and a leader with courage, I have the power to change anything in this organization. I have the power but it is not necessary that I have information that I can use to change things. The information that can influence a change is very critical and anybody in our company can have it. If I do not get to know, how would I be able to bring a change? So, if an employee is good (even in their own definition of good) and wants to leave my company because their reporting manager is not helping them spread their wings, I definitely want to know it. If they leave silently, they are actually killing my company. Killing the possibilities of the colleagues they care for. Killing our growth and the vision we have.
The worst to happen in life as a businessman is a customer or an employee walking away without telling why. The society sucks way too bad in making life tough for those who want to really share things. I worked for an Indian IT services company in 2004 that flaunts CMM certification and I quit in 3 months because the lead I was reporting to had no idea of professionalism. He loved treating people like a slave. I decided to not be treated that way and I quit. In the exit interview, I told the reason behind why I am quitting to the HR Manager. There was a follow up meeting with the Manager and the Lead who bullied me. They threatened they would tell wrong things about me and ensure I don’t get a job and would screw up my background reference checks. I never want a job that comes with their recommendation so I didn’t care for it anyway. I wanted to take this up to the CEO but alas, the CEO was the guy who brought in the manager from his ex-employer and the manager brought in the lead. I had the courage to speak to anyone and I had the courage to take all that and use it to add more firepower to my dreams.
However, the twist in the story was, months after I quit, my other colleague in that company also quit his job (without another job in hand, like me) because he could not tolerate the lead anymore. He was asked by the HR Manager “Why are you quitting?” and he didn’t say a word about the lead because he feared what happened to me would also happen to him. This was in 2004. As of today, this specific organization has not grown as it should have and it actually down sized plus there is no buzz surrounding it. It has not grown for so long that people hardly know it exists. It has lost its ability to attract great people and is downhill.
Such an awesome story but the story is not about the company. The story is about my colleague who quit without telling the reason. I wonder what is happening to him with his next employer. He is a skilled guy, dedicated, ethical, works hard, doesn’t gossip, shares his knowledge, and cares for the customer’s problem. So much that he can be called an employee every company would love to have. However, he wouldn’t say a word why he is leaving. If he worked in Moolya and he didn’t tell me why he quit, I am a guy boasting of the power I have, to change the world, but will have no information whatsoever to change his world.
If you are a good employee (and you know that) but your boss or manager is screwed up, please please tell it to people like me. Otherwise, you are sinking organizations that can potentially change the world. Once you indirectly are the reason to sink good companies, no matter what you do, you can’t be a good employee of any company. To be a good employee, speak out and don’t let companies who matter to the world, die.
After you speak out to people in power (or more power), if there is no change in the organization, your issue is not resolved, then quit. Run far away from it. Even if it is Moolya. If your vision is different than the company’s vision, then quit. Run far away from it. Even if it is Moolya.