I love working for this company, I enjoy the work I do and the people I work with. I want to write you a letter to help you to understand me a little better. I have been working here for a while and I do not see you very much, I understand that you are busy, but it take 15 seconds to walk by my office and share a smile once in a while – it might not be all that effort from you, but I promise that in return you will get all the effort from me for the rest of that day.
I remember the last time you said thank you. It in June last year two days before my summer vacation – best vacation I have ever had. Imagine if you said thank you to me when I would actually be at work. It takes you 30 seconds to say thank you in a sincere manner. For that moment I would give you a week of blood and tears.
Speaking of tears, you know life. The one we live once. This life might be hard and it might be easy – a cliché is the parable to a roller coaster. I would love it if you would understand when life throws you a left hook and I am feeling down. You know, my head might not be quite “checked in” at work – but I am in a rough spot, please give me some space to recover. I might not quit my job, and if you understand I would walk through fire for you years from now.
Yes I do have ambitions; I do want to do a great job. Doing the same job day in and day out year after year is boring. I would love if you could challenge me and help me grow. The fact that I want to be the best does not mean that I am competition for you and your job. Actually if you help me become better than you – your job would be easier, and you would get better results = your job is safe, and I could go on to another department to put “your stamp” on them too. Making you the best boss to work for – guess where the good employees would love to work now?
It would be cool if we sometime could sit down and talk about my ideas. You do not need to challenge them or do anything, just let me talk – I would then feel that you would get to know me and my thoughts. And I would get my frustration out and I might even feel more confident about my job.
I would love to know what goes on in those meetings. Sometimes it is hard for me to understand what this company really wants. I often struggle with giving customers refunds, when I know I am giving away profits, but I think the customer is happy. I wish I had some guidelines on this.
When was the last time we had some fun? I know that you love to play and you tell great stories. We spend half our waking day at work, I would love it to be fun, would you mind if we bought a scalextric racing track and held a competition? It would be awesome.
You know in the last staff meeting when all the employees were in the auditorium. Listening to the management team talking economics made half of us fall asleep, while the others were secretly playing with their phones. Yes I think the numbers are exciting, but I am the oddball out here. Could you just say for once that “we are doing ok” – give a link to the number for those of us that care? And then give us a speech that will inspire us to reach a new goal. You know, your numbers might become better that way. I get engaged by your dreams; I get bored by your bottom line.
Yes, I know that I ask a lot when I ask you to not be angry all the time. I know that we can disappoint you from time to time. But I guarantee that we are doing our best. I have a co-worker that you yelled at once, he was extremely upset and quit a few months later, giving me a lot of extra work and at the same time I had to train his replacement. I know for sure that we would all love that you would teach us instead of letting us fail. You know, if I suck at my job, it is either way your fault for hiring the wrong person, or for providing the wrong training. And I assure you, when we fail; nobody is as disappointed as we are.
The printer stopped working last week; do you know how frustrating it is to not get a new one right away? And do you know how frustrating it is to “save money on having one printer for the entire division” when we have to walk downstairs to get a printout? All you need to do is plan one management meeting via Skype and we could afford a better solution. Yes we see where the money goes to waste and where you fail to prioritize.
And please let me know if I do a good job or not. I want to feel safe here, and I do not like to worry about my job safety.
I want to end this letter with this: I know you do a great job, I know that your job is important, but if you would trust us enough to delegate some of your work, then you would not just have an important job, you would actually have time to inspire us too. I need you to be my lighthouse, not the underwater reef, and I bet that your family would love it if you spent less time at work.