Q: It seems like this company plays favorites and gives special treatment to people who have been working here for several years.

They get the best jobs, they get more time off, they get first pick of vacation days and they get to go on business trips. If they did all that for those of us who’ve been here for only a few months, I’d be sure to stay for several years, too.

Why can’t they treat everyone as equals?

A: Experienced employees that have exhibited loyalty, dependability and consistent capability over several years pay huge dividends for each and every company. Long-term employees more easily spot small problems before they expand into large ones. They also can train and guide new employees in the finer details of each task. They may even be quicker to adapt new methods because they bring with them a deeper understanding of the processes and company as a whole.

Additionally, the livestock industry has a unique benefit in terms of keeping long-term employees — they know how to care for animals in the most humane and empathetic way. They can sense when animals aren’t doing well. They know how to efficiently move animals with the least amount of stress.  They’re more likely to recognize when an application, say of a medication, might have hit a glitch. In short, they have great stockmanship skills.

Perhaps, instead of being concerned about being treated as an equal, you should ask what you can learn from those veteran employees so that you can one day be as valuable to, and appreciated and rewarded by the company.

If you have questions for Dear Boss, send them to:

Don Tyler, P.O. Box 67, Stockwell, IN47983or e-mail to don@dontyler.com.

Your letter will remain confidential, and may or may not get an individual reply.