There’s a thin line between motivating your employees to do the work and casually giving modern slave owner vibes. On behalf of employees everywhere, we don’t subscribe to the latter, so unless you want us to leave so you can do the work yourself, avoid saying these things to your employees.

“We take pride in our work, rather than compensation”

Newsflash, most people don’t dream of spending all their waking hours slaving at the feet of capitalism. People work because they expect to be compensated for their efforts. We already know we can work, show us the money, please.

“We have to do more with less”

In other words, “You will be overworked”. Granted, it makes sense to do what we can with scarce resources. It shouldn’t be the norm, though. At the end of the day, employees are still humans. You can’t give one person three people’s jobs or inadequate work tools and expect them to be productive or do “more with less”. Let’s all be reasonable.

“We’ll hire slow and fire fast”

So, you’re creating a culture of fear and job insecurity? That’s our cue to start job hunting.

“We’ll do more in-person meetings”

Meetings were already unnecessarily time-consuming. You now want to add the commuting stress to it? Is the price of fuel a joke to you?

“You’ll be stretched to your limits” 

Doing hard work is fine, but that sentence is incomplete without adding “but you’ll be compensated accordingly.” What do you think this is? Hellfire?

“You must give 100% at all times”

But the take-home salary you’re giving me isn’t taking me home, and I need a side gig to afford food. Be for real. 

“We’re cancelling remote/hybrid work”

It’s been nice knowing you. 

NEXT READ: How Nigerians Deal With Realising They’re Underpaid



Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.