Everyone May Be Replaceable, But Great Employees Are Not

“Nobody’s indispensable.” I’ve heard this statement many times. In fact, it has become the mantra of many employers today, emphasizing that every worker can be replaced.

But one thing organizations forget is that, they too, like the people who toil their lives away to make someone else’s dream, as well as theirs come true, are dispensable.

One of the quickest ways for an organization to lose dedicated employees is with the habit of not showing appreciation for the efforts exerted by its staff, and worse, beginning to think that they (employees) are an insignificant part of its growth, for reasons of easy replacement; because after all, there is a bunch of unemployed people out there waiting to grab every small opportunity to earn some ‘dough.’

Over some three to four years of working closely with business managers and directors, I have seen many employees come and go. Some, maybe due to the lack of skills, ineffectiveness, inability to adapt to change, a new environment or work culture.

But also, there have been those who have left, simply because they got tired of accepting and/or putting up with bullshit behavior and unappreciativeness from people at the top.

Some years back, I witnessed a lady leave a prestigious firm and a respectable position for these same reasons. This lady, from what I gathered, was a very hard working employee, dedicated like no other, and selfless in her pursuit of success and growth for the company she was with. So that even when she was being over-used and under-paid, she wasn’t as much bothered as when she was mistreated.

After letting several better job opportunities pass her by out of sincere commitment to her organization, she finally decided it was time to cut herself some slack. As it turns out, the company and her former position has still not fully recovered from the loss.

The primary reason why individuals seek employment, of course, is to be able to earn a living; to make ends meet. But organizations and business managers must realize that not every employee is in to cut a slice of the cake and just walk away.

Dedicated employees are committed not because of how much they earn, but instead, how much they are appreciated for what they do.

There will always be better and bigger opportunities, but when they come, will your employees be willing to stick for a greater good? Business owners must ask themselves whether or not their employees will stick in the times of boom or lean or will they jump at any opportunity with the next company?

When employees are treated with respect, it is the organization that benefits. The more committed employees are, the more dedicated they will be to work. And happy employees equals happy business.

HR Managers, if you have a lot of your staff running away from the company in the shortest possible time and at the least opportunity, then perhaps it is time to do some constructive reasoning.

Maybe what you have isn’t an organization, but a slave trade. Maybe what you have is an occupationally abusive company. And you are wrong if you think this does not affect the organization.

What will you call having to go through the whole recruitment process again? What do you call spending more resources to train new employees to fit into roles? I call that time, energy and resource consuming—a total waste that could have been avoided with a better employer-employee relationship.

Employees are not slaves, and they certainly are not beggars. They are rendering a service that is needed for the company’s subsistence, and any organization that does not value its employees will eventually lose them.

So yes, while you may think employees are replaceable, employers and company owners should know that they are too. And oh, there’s just a small other detail of the story; great employees are actually not replaceable.

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