Why Employees Are Afraid of Working with Start Up Founders and Business owners in The Digital Transformation Age.

8 min readDec 6, 2023


Why Employees Are Afraid of Working with Start Up Founders and Business owners in The Digital Transformation Age.

Communication account for one of the reasons that many of us co-exist in any given system. We cannot be in the same workplace without communicating. Just like every human relationship. The need for communication is very essential in our office. And I mean effective communication.

A leader that lacks the fundamental skills of communicating with his people would lose them to another companies. And might not get the best out of them in terms of performance. Bad communication brings about bad manners which could lead to toxicity. Reasons why people would like to work with you goes beyond the pay slip and being in that Air condition. People would like to work with leaders who know how to talk to them like a friend, like a sister, like a brother and like a team mates. The same way you speak politely to your clients when you need them to make a purchase should also be the same way you ought to be communicating with your internal clients. When was the last time you use the word “please” “Thank you” to your staff. Instead, it is about shouting and command tone. Please let this stop Sir/Madam. And some of us don’t use the word “Good morning” instead we make use of “How far” and some other time it is a culture of no greeting at all. Projecting bad body language in the system. This not ethical or healthy for a good company that want to leverage, scale, and grow for better returns.

I can work for free or with a fair salary with a Founder that has good manner of communicating with me and or his employee. People dislike bad treatment. We are human. We should be humane in our approach to human relationship at work, at home and in the society we co-exist. Those content you wrote on your company website that you treat me like a family should also reflect at work. Say no to scam. Or else otherwise someone wrote it for you without you reviewing it before publishing. Just the same way that many Founders and HR are clamoring that employees or job applicants fake the content in their CV/Resume. Yes, it is like dating and or relationship. Human nature is full of lies and can be deceptive. But you shall get to know the truth on the job. Competency is the key.

I came across a founder who complained about employees not doing the right thing. He went further by saying their CV is not reflecting them. I mean the true image or color of them. I listened to him very well. I noticed he is the cause of his own problem. He gave a job description that looks like encyclopedia to his staff without really defining the core objective of the firm and what is expected from individual’s and team. He expects much while he pays less. And he has so many fowl languages that he used in communicating to staff. Managers look down on applicant to much in this part of the world. I think it is how our government portray us. But we need to know our worth now. And again, this founder whenever he wants to conduct an interview with candidates. Their HR policy is to off their own camera and tell the applicant to switch theirs on. Who does that abroad? Please I need to know. They don’t respect privacies at all. How can you be seeing me while I am not seeing you? That is not communicating. It is one sided. For my safety and for security reasons I feel I should know who I am in conversation with on Google meet or zoom. It should either be 2 ways no video but audio. Or 2 ways video and audio. If it is going to be recorded; appropriate permission should be taken from the party involved.

Another mistakes some founder made s that they take things personally when people don’t turn up for an interview. In this era of technology, you do not want to embrace Tech tools to conduct interview remotely. You still want someone who categorically stated it on his application to he is out of job to come for a physical interview. And you know the cost of fuel and transportation in this subsidy palaver in Nigeria. Funny truth is that some companies may not end up hiring an applicant. With their popular phrase “we shall get back to you” so where do you want him or her (the applicant) to record that wasted 3k? Human Resource folks ghost a lot. And now this applicant fails to turn for an interview you started taking it personally. Is it your data, time and effort that he used in applying? First cut is the deepest.

Further, this founder while on interview session with an applicant. He said things like go and calculate how much is going to be your feeding and transportation for the month. Then get back to me. Can you just imagine. This is how many Nigeria workers look so cheap to business owners and modern days managers.

The reason people would want to work with startups is not just all about meeting up with food and transportation. How about fulfilling their personal goals and aspirations? How about self and professional development?

I keep wondering when we would have a company in Nigeria. When business would be built on the premise of friendship. Whereby both managers and staff would smile and learn to forgive each other mistakes. And when such mistakes occur, they see it as a learning process. Or make it a case study to work with for the entire organization to work with.

Learn how to talk. Even if it means for you to pretend. The business we are is a game. We need to play it well. It is also a movie while not let us act it very well. Just 8 to 5 remotely, hybrid or onsite. Even if is 40 hours per week. But by acting it can become part of us as in part of our daily life. Let us work on principle and churn techniques or manipulation. Principles are classic and timeless.

Dear founder, the way and manner you communicate has correlation with your productivity at work. The people working with you or working for you already has their own personal or domestic problem. So why compounding it for them? Instead, it should have been your job as a founder to try and understand the people who work for you. Share stories with them. Let them relate with you. Let them share what they are comfortable sharing with you as a citizen of your company. See how you can help them solves problem so that they can equally solve your clients and or business problem too profitably.

A workplace is not just a place to work. It is a learning place. Your ability to manage effectively would lead to better retention. And even when your employees signed out of your business, they can still be in touch for business relationship. They said it is a small world. So be nice dear investors, founders, CEO’s, Managing partner, HR, and Entrepreneurs.

The concept of work in the world has changed. So, we should not feel we are doing favor to any employees. With their smartphone in their hand, they have all options to take part in any online business, web3 and so many innovations in the tech spaces. It is a window, android and iOS of opportunities now powered by the internet.

In conclusion, think before you communicate. Write it down. Ask yourself. If it were to be me myself. How would I interpret this statements that I am about to share? Though we all have our own means of interpreting messages. Personalized your message well. Use the right tone. Then make sure you are in the right mood. Not when you had domestic argument or personal crisis that you would start communicating official matter. Resolve to be yourself, take a break and when you have composed yourself well you can communicate to your team.

Even the best Leaders make mistake, and they know how to apologies. Nobody is above mistake.

Employees turnover is not good for your business. When people want to apply for job in your establishments, they would research you online. They would research for people past and present. The feedback they would gather goes a long whether to work with you or not. And if you feel this arrogance that Nigeria is a large market, and you can use her people as you want. Keep doing that and let me see how your company would make it to the top of Fortune 500 companies. You are joking.

To Nigerian workers. Please avoid this notion of see finish. I mean see me finish. For how long are we going to be tolerating bad treatment from bad bosses? That’s too costly to our wellness and wellbeing. Learn to speak up when you are not comfortable with things happening in your workspace. Complete candor and not feeling intimidated by any boss are essential. And we hope this message get to the desk of Startups owners and change the look of business in Nigeria, West Africa, Africa and Globally now.

Thank you.

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About Abiodun Ajala is a writer on business and organization. He had an MBA in Marketing from the prestigious University of Ilorin. Feel free to reach me via Email and get professional services for your business. You need a corporate communication specialist for your LinkedIn page, website and other social platforms for client retention.