In my culture, words that came out of someone’s mouth is deem as a promise unless otherwise stated. One does not casually said something and meant other things. In all aspects, this will destroy trust, respect and perhaps kill off any relationship. Particularly in the business world.
In the business world, partnerships counted heavily on trust and reliance on one another. One misstep could led to dire repercussions. In Chinese, we have one saying “君子一言、驷马难追。” It means a nobleman must keep his promise. Once a nobleman gave his promise, sturdy horses won’t be able to chase the promise out.
I once had a director who used to give out empty promises as if he is dishing out sweets to everyone. The company I worked for has very good conducive working environment, every colleagues enjoyed and even excelled in their roles however, the director tends to spoil everything people work for by not fulfilling his promises.
I remembered one incident very clearly when we had just received a huge order and all of us had to do work overtime in order to meet the deadline, the director called a meeting and gather everyone in the conference room with the agenda to boost everyone’s morales. He gave a great long speech and praises to everyone, even promises big bonus at the end of fulfilling the order deadline and tripled everyone’s overtime pay. But when it comes to end of the order, everyone including the managers and senior managers decided to throw a party to reward everyone’s hard work and effort, the director was nowhere to be found when asked to foot the bill, all the managers decided to come up with their own money to treat the rest of the people. At the end of the month, HR was not informed that our overtime pay was tripled and there was no sign off on the promised bonus. When the matter was brought up to the director, he simply brushed the matter off by saying he will handled it when he has more time. It never came.
Another incident involving me directly this time was that he praised my sales results for the quarter and promised in front of everyone during our monthly conference that he always recognize talent and will promote me to managerial position. Everyone including all the frontline staff was excited and happy for me. Everyone applauded including the director. Even the managers came and congratulated me and welcome me into their ranks. The promotion didn’t came. Even after 3 months, the director didn’t approve the promotion. I pursued HR who was at the meeting too and heard everything, came back to me saying the director simply said it was a joke, he did not meant it. Imagine my disappointment and fury! This is not a small company but a listed company too! The director was not some small fly but he was in the board of directors of many accredited organizations too!
After that incident, there are many similar incidents and all of us learnt not to believe his words anymore. One by one we left the company due to disappointment and mistrust. The last I have heard, no one stayed in the company for more than a year, due to high attrition rate, the company couldn’t keep up with training and retraining people, many good talented folks just leave after fulfilling one year to a competitor. About a year after I left the company, it was sold to a foreign entity with a change in management.
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