Letter to the boss

Dear V

Thank you for allowing me to stay for the company dinner, but I am writing to you my real reason for leaving. I was happy with the managers that I have, they had been very understanding and I learned a great deal from them. Unfortunately, things started to change from August onwards. The number of project engineers then was 5, and when 1 left in August, we started to feel the increase in workload. I thought that a new hire was going to come in, as we beared with it. It was bad then, and I started to get satisfactory ratings in my project completion appraisal from the customers. Due to the number of projects, I was late for meetings frequently and became often absent-minded and not as detailed.

Then 1 left in November, which I believe is due to the increasing workload as well, and from thatday onwards, even our managers can feel the pressure. I was working nearly every night past 8pm and am always late for my 7pm night classes – my classmates can vouch for that. The weekends are always occupied at the sites, and mind you we are not paid overtime for these work after office hours. The manager of my technicians can tell me his technicians don’t like to work on weekends and I stopped short of blasting him if I liked it. I tried to tendered my resignation in November becaue I received a better offer elsewhere, but I stayed because of my managers and not because I was comfortable where I was then. I made a counter proposal to increase my salary by another $600 to you for the increased workload, but apparently you turned it down. Just like how you dont want to do extra work without charging a VO to your clients, you shouldn’t expect your employees to take in more responsibilities and jobscope for the same time.

Also I noticed almost everyone got a $100 pay increase in the company. This is unacceptable because the inflaton for last year was 4.6% An average engineer paid $2.7k a month is only getting a -0.9% nominal wage growth after factoring in inflation. The worst part is you don’t even pay AWS, and an immediate question come to my mind that if you are able to compete for talents with other companies in the market. That question is of course redundant because you are able to get foreign engineers easily, who are earning a premium salary relative to what they are getting in their home country.

The morale of the engineers is very poor and citing what Js said when he left: the atmosphere is very negative indeed. Now that you are left with 2 project engineers, I notice that you are getting the specialists to handle new projects. Seriously, if you don’t think project management is a skill, you can even get the sales to handle the projects. I have talked to some specialists and they are saying they are uncomfortable with the increase in jobscope.

I notice that you have a very wrong understanding of productivity. You always say “deliver with efficiency and productivity”, but you don’t understand that productivity is not doing more work with lesser salaries and poorer quality. Below is a graph that best explain the situation:


The decreasing curve is the Quality versus Amount of Time worked, quality of work will decrease with the increase in time spent on work. The climbing curve is the Amount of Resources versus Work Done, increasing salaries and manpower will increase the amount of work done. What you should be looking for is the point the 2 curves intersect. That is the right amount of salaries with the right number of manpower for the right quality at the right costs. Where you are right now is to lower resources and demanding higher quality, which is unrealistic. As a business leader, the only way you can earn more is to capitalize on right balance. We are seeing a high turnover because too few resources are allocated. The company can never expand so long this fundamental is not right.

I hope you reflect upon one last issue: surrounding yourself with yes-men without a culture of fair and balanced criticisms would not improve the company. Employees dare not openly express their dissatisfaction because they are afraid of backlash. The company policies ended up out of touch with the ground. There ought to be more autonomy and trust into the managers and even the employees.

All the best, thank you.


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