“Loyalty implies a faithfulness that is steadfast in the face of any temptation to renounce, desert, or betray” (Encyclopedia Britannica).
Does loyalty matter?
Although this post is geared toward the employee, all employers should pay heed to this (regardless of your level within an organization) because it will affect your ability to retain talent. And if you aren’t attracting, hiring, and retaining the right talent you’re losing millions in revenue.
I can’t remember a time throughout my career when an individual that was “pink slipped” from a company didn’t say something like, “I was loyal to them and never even took calls from recruiters”, “How could they lay me off after I was loyal to them all those years?” or “But I always had great performance reviews and made my objectives.” It never ceases to amaze me how shocked people are when this happens to them. Maybe after all these years I’ve just become jaded with regard to this subject.
For you employees: In all the years in executive search and within my coaching practice I have always said that companies will only be loyal to you insofar as it suits their needs and desires. Consequently you should never be loyal to your company beyond which it suits your needs and desires. If you follow this golden rule you’ll avoid getting caught like a deer in headlights ever again, or ever. Long gone are the days of a job for life with a pension. It’s time to face the reality and be accountable for your career. Don’t put your destiny in the hands of a company whose loyalty is to their shareholders before their employees. I know this is a depressing thought for many of you, but better to learn to deal with it now. This type of behavior by companies has been going on for years, but it’s only since the most recent recession that people are seeing it full on.
Now for you employers…Companies that don’t understand that people are their most important function will fail to thrive because their employees won’t stick around. I know you may be thinking, “Well, let them see if they can find another job right now.” That may be the case but if you don’t treat your talent in a way that will give them a reason to stay, the minute the employment market improves you’re going to get the big “screw you”. Once you realize this you can begin to elicit change. Remember, the more your people produce, the better your revenues, the happier your shareholders and investors.