Employee Loyalty: Celebrating 50 Years of Service!

The age of employee loyalty, when employees stay with the same company for their entire career has, for the most part, past. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employees are only staying in a job on average 1.5 years, which means employee retention is getting increasingly more challenging for all companies. But there are exceptions.

Case in point: on October 10, Ting Keung Lee, Avaya Client Services Manager, Hong Kong, celebrated his golden service anniversary with Avaya. With 50 years of employee loyalty and customer service under his belt, you can bet Ting has a rich history to share.

Ting began his career on October 10, 1967 as an installer in carrier switching for Northern Electric. According to Ting, in those days, “switching” meant mechanical switches because computerized switches didn’t exist. He installed 4A XBar by Western Electric and Strowger SxS mechanical switches.

Ting Service AnniversarySince that time, he’s been with 11 companies. “I started with Northern Electric in Canada, which eventually became Nortel. Nortel was acquired by Avaya in 2009,” he said. The geographies he’s worked in have been as diverse as the companies. He’s lived in Canada, Puerto Rico, England, Beijing and Shunde, finally settling in Hong Kong. Ting says with a smile, “Over the past 50 years, my paychecks have been graced with many different logos and were in numerous currencies.”

While we’re all well aware of the changing technology over the past 50 years, as a tech insider, Ting has experienced the changes both personally and professionally.

“I began my career in the days of switchboards and operators, rotary phones, and super-modern mechanical switches that connected telephone calls automatically,” he said. “Let’s not forget computers made from discrete transistors, microprocessors, RAM, ROM and hard drives. Smartphones were literally something out of science fiction.”

Despite the changes, Ting stayed the course, thanks to a deep propensity for learning and a willingness to adapt in an industry that some describe as changing by the minute.

“To have started work in the analog world where everything moves at a slow pace, and then move into the rapid pace of the digital world is special. I’ve actually had my foot in both worlds. That’s something few people have experienced. I’m pretty lucky.”

To say that Ting has learned a lot over the past 50 years is an understatement, but one thing is clear: he’s a man of humility and appreciation for all the lessons learned, the relationships gained, and the wisdom he’s picked up along the way. “Every journey starts with a step, and then another, and another. Just remember to enjoy the journey. And when you think of the people who have helped you, pay it forward and help those around you. There’s a saying ‘Be a builder, not a destroyer.’ That seems to be a pretty good credo to practice.”

Happy 50th Anniversary, Ting. Avaya is lucky to have you.