Forklift Theology

Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.


I often read articles on Linkedin regarding how businesses have a high turn over rate, how productive long-term employees seem to suddenly leave for another employer. Quite often, I find that there is a common thread in the reason behind long-term employees leaving a given employer. It usually boils down to one of two things. Either it is money, or it is a lack of upward mobility, also known as being able to be promoted.

One of the more telling things, that often comes up in these articles, is that long-term employees are often snubbed for promotions in favor of new hires with little to no real experience, either within the company or the industry that the company operates within. This creates a form of cognitive dissonance in which an employer is telling an employee they are valued, yet simultaneously telling the same employee that they have no value and can not be promoted. Even worse, some employers are known for saying that there are no opportunities to promote anyone, and then hire somebody for a management position that supposedly didn’t exist. I have seen this myself.

What does the Bible say? Probably a lot more than what most people would actually expect. However, to make myself clear, I am not encouraging anyone to quit their job. The Bible clearly says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” To that end, I encourage you to continue working until you have another job already prepared. However, there is still more, and it is quite interesting.

The Bible does actually talk about promotions. Admittedly, the primary context I am looking at is the installation of an individual as the pastor (or bishop as some translations say) of the church. However, there is an outside application to this concept, and it is one that is very telling. Here is the verse:

1 Timothy 3:6
He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.”

In the full context, the Apostle Paul is talking about the qualifications for an overseer/bishop (or pastor) of the church. However, this same criterion can also apply to promotions within the secular workplace. I have observed on many occasions in which somebody who was a new hire was promoted to a position of authority and abused it. Not only did their sudden promotion not sit well with the long-term employees, but it came as a sudden shock to many that somebody with less than a few months experience was suddenly in a supervisory/management role that wasn’t offered to anyone else, nor was anyone that might have been considered for the position actually interviewed for it. Eventually, the new hire that was promoted would leave because they felt they weren’t respected properly and could do better elsewhere, as they had become prideful.

Why am I posting this? Fair question.

I am tired of seeing a high turnover rate within any given industry. I like the old idea that an employee might work for a singular employer for the duration of career and then retire. However, it is also my observation that businesses are not necessarily treating their employees in such a manner that would make it desirable to stay. To quote the Bureau of Labor Statistics (link below):

The median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer
was 4.2 years in January 2016, down from 4.6 years in January 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today.

This is not a good thing. This means that the average employee doesn’t normatively last longer than five years. I wish I could say this was not the case, but I am aware that many people where I work don’t last even three years. Indeed, I am among the most senior employees at my workplace in terms of longevity, and that is at seventeen years. Sadly, I have seen many people come and go over the years, some of them very good at what they do. Employers really should do more to retain good employees, rather than just thinking them dispensible and letting them go. It is often difficult to replace a good employee, and more often than not, in replacing them, we burden everyone with an individual who is mediocre at their very best, and awful at their worst, resulting in their leaving within a year or two and otherwise increasing the turnover rate.

What is the cause of this? Honestly, I think it is a leadership failure. Specifically, it is a failure to understand the meaning of leadership. Most of the people I know seem to think, either in speech or in action, that leadership is about being in charge. This is very much wrong. True leadership is about working together and setting the example. This is not something you get from a new hire. This is only possible through working with somebody that has been employed for a long period of time and has been awarded for their efforts by means of being promoted, thus why it is wrong to promote a new hire, just as it is wrong for a new convert to the Christian faith to be a pastor.

As I close, it should be noted that there are two types of promotion that await us all. One is for the believer. The other is for the non-believer. We shall all be promoted to everlasting life. However, the believer will be promoted to everlasting life in the kingdom of God the Father Almighty. The unbeliever shall be promoted to everlasting destruction in Hell. Contrary to what some may say, Christ Jesus did not die and rise again so that we may have worldly blessings, rather, his death and resurrection were so that we might have life everlasting in the kingdom of God. Amen.


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This entry was posted on 26/02/2018 by in Discernment, Other and tagged , , , , , , , .
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