Yesterday, I wrote on ‘Invest in Your Human Capital’, which was basically addressed to employers of labor. I feel it will be one sided if I don’t write a follow up addressing employees, hence this write up.
Your career is like a building. Each work experience you gather represents the bricks used in building. If you use a 6 inch brick where you are meant to use 9 inch, there will be defect in the building. If you fail to use the right mix of cement, sand and gravel in your columns, you may have cracks and eventual collapse of the building. The same applies to your career. If you don’t build it well, you may suffer a career collapse later on. There are certain obligations you owe your employer. Some of these are:
1. Duty to be professional
2. Duty not to compete with your employer
3. Fiduciary duty
4. Duty of non-disclosure
5. Duty of self-development
Professionalism: This implies conscious representation of your employer in all matters within the scope of your duties in a way and manner that will not damage your employer’s image. This includes your dressing, communication, punctuality, public conduct, integrity, work output and interpersonal relationship. When you are professional in carrying out your duties, it rubs off on you and makes you a professional.
2. Non-competition: It is totally unprofessional and unethical to run the same line of business with your employer while still employed. As a matter of fact, some organizations do not allow you to be involved in any other personal business activities while employed. Also, even after leaving employment, some employment clauses may prevent you from engaging in similar trade for a time frame. So you need to familiarize yourself with the engagement clauses in your employment letter.
3. Fiduciary Duty: You are essentially an agent of your employer, so you are expected to act in the best interest of your employers always. This includes putting company first before self. An example is that of an Accountant managing a poor cashflow situation which requires payment of salaries in batches. Even when you are privy to availability of funds, you must ensure that you pay from bottom upward until it gets to your turn.
Non-Disclosure: You are not allowed to share information about the organization with third parties without necessary authorization and approvals. It is also called confidentiality of information. There are certain information that will come to your possession and that must be kept confidential. For instance, as a banker you may have information about the financial status of so many people. You cannot disclose such information or use it against them.
Self-Development: While your employer owes you the duty of training and helping you to become better, there is no better form of training than self training. You must always keep yourself abreast of latest developments in your field and even related fields. Be informed. Read widely. Make reading an habit. Reading opens up your mind.
These are some of the covenant obligations expected from employees. Do your part. Remember again, what you sow is what you will get. Sow right! Don’t kill other people’s businesses with your actions or words. It will always come back to you.
God bless us all.
Good morning Africa!
Good morning Nigeria!