Friday February 26 2016

The workplace : You too can become a long-serving employee

By Isaiah Kitimbo

“Are you still at that place…?” Mary asked Annet, her long-time friend. The two had spent more than 10 years without meeting- working in different workplaces and regions.

Their recent meeting offered an opportunity for the two old friends and former workmates to reconnect and reminisce. Annet responded affirmatively. Mary, on the other hand, had changed several jobs at different organisations, and was not sure if she would last at her current position.

Such has been the case for many employees today, especially young graduates who are finding it challenging to work longer for the same organisation.

But seniority comes with experience. The longer you stay and your ability to learn more skills, the more you stand out as an asset for that particular company. This also increases your chances of becoming a uniquely blended and much sought-after brand in the neighbourhood.

Many managers increasingly prefer hiring and working with experienced personnel. Besides, quicker delivery of results is assured. It saves the company from spending on training.

A supervisor will also find it easier to cultivate a suitable method of exploiting experienced staff’s potential for the benefit and growth of the organisation. He or she will identify areas that they are good at, set and agree on key performance indicators that can be assessed regularly. Changing a role can be considered to break boredom and monotony.

Long-serving employees are very important for business continuity. However this is made possible with accumulated skills over the years. If you want to serve longer, therefore, you need to earn it by doing your work well. Think of regularly updating your skills to remain relevant at your workplace and reduce chances of becoming a deadwood. This can be done through regular coaching sessions or refresher courses.

The writer is a human resources expert and a journalist.