Former Microsoft HR Executive: Companies Don’t Reward Loyalty, Advises Employees Against Requesting Raises from Bosses


Insights from Ex-Microsoft VP of Human Resources, Chris Williams: Loyalty Unlikely to Result in Pay Raises, Suggests Pursuing Better Opportunities Elsewhere. Additionally, He Shares Two Actions He’d Avoid as an Employee.

“There’s a common assumption that employees who remain with a company over the long term will eventually be recognized and rewarded for their loyalty. Oftentimes, individuals hesitate before accepting a job offer from another organization due to a sense of allegiance to their current employer, not wanting to appear disloyal. Nevertheless, according to Chris Williams, former Vice President of HR at Microsoft, this perspective should be reconsidered. In a contributed article for Business Insider, Williams asserts that if an employee receives a better offer from another organization, they should seize the opportunity without being burdened by concerns of company loyalty.

In the same piece, Williams further contends that companies do not inherently reciprocate loyalty to their employees, and he dismisses the notion that extended tenure results in higher compensation. He elaborates that seniority is not correlated with larger paychecks, challenging the idea that long-serving employees are necessarily rewarded.”

Insights from Former Microsoft HR Executive on Company Loyalty

Within the article, Williams delineated four actions he would personally avoid as an employee. His first point underlined that anticipating company loyalty and rewards for long-standing service within the same organization was a fallacy. The second point cautioned against requesting a raise from one’s supervisor, while the third highlighted the inadvisability of making idle threats about departing the company. Williams’ fourth point stressed the importance of adequate preparation before seeking assistance.

Regarding the concept of loyalty in the context of a corporation, Williams expressed uncertainty about whether companies genuinely ever rewarded employee loyalty. He asserted that such recognition, when it occurred, was usually based on personal loyalty between individuals. Given the frequent job transitions of today, this kind of loyalty seldom persevered, he commented.

Williams further explained that individuals should not presume that their tenure alone would lead to promotions within their companies. “And don’t anticipate your company showing sympathy for your lengthy service when layoffs approach. You will be regarded as part of a dispassionate business calculation, a straightforward transaction of value,” he articulated.”

Addressing Requests for Raises and Empty Threats

Discussing the act of requesting a raise from superiors, Williams emphasizes that making such a request places an individual in a position of vulnerability. It’s as if you are seeking a ‘favor’ that your boss is obliged to bestow upon you. Instead, he advocates for framing the conversation around a ‘value exchange,’ reframing raises as a reciprocal acknowledgment of the value you contribute.

“You offer the company this value, and in return, the company should reciprocate. That’s how it views you and your contribution. That’s the perspective you should adopt,” he asserts.

His third piece of advice revolves around refraining from making empty threats about leaving a company unless one genuinely intends to follow through. This is because companies might actually take such threats seriously, and if you are not genuinely considering departure, these empty ultimatums could prove detrimental.

“So, only employ the threat of leaving or engaging in conflict if you are fully committed to it. And brace yourself for the worst-case scenario,” he advises.

Regarding his final point, Williams asserts that when seeking assistance, it’s imperative to be thoroughly prepared beforehand. Employees should have a clear understanding of what they require help with and avoid vague requests. “

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