Loyalty is seen in our choice of purchase, our preference in service provider, but mostly in the way we relate to people. It is a quality and characteristic which is only ever appreciated and truly tested during the opportunity to devalue, discredit or dishonour is presented. Loyalty rarely seeks a reward, for it is reward in itself.
Recent generations have re-defined loyalty.
Companies around the world are dealing with the high cost of turnover for Gen-Y employees.
70 percent of them leave their first job within two years of joining, reports Experience.com. Statistics say that in the next three years, as many as 75% of your organizations top performers will leave the organization for greener pastures – are we prepared to replace future leaders, and at what cost?
The paradigm has shifted – millennials expect loyalty from their employer, whereas boomers gave loyalty.
It is not A fault or THEIR fault. Downward salary pressure on entry level jobs, competition at all levels, less and less jobs in the market have forced millennials (and other generations) to make spot decisions without the soft landing that has existed in the recent past.
Loyalty is I believe, being re-defined as we speak. Relationships are being defined by the same criteria that corporate bodies use and that is the "bottom line". The 80's saw a new term used in restructuring staff levels. Firms have always laid off workers, but in the 1980's, you started to see healthy firms laying off workers, mainly for "shareholder value.”
In their announcements of pending staff cutbacks, firms would say, "We are doing this in the long-term interest of our shareholders", thus depersonalizing responsibility as being "in the name of profit".
Today, loyalty from employees to employers is on a parity. Unfortunately, the same measure is often used between relationships, friendships and groups of all persuasions. The criteria used for loyalty is "whats in it for me", "What benefits do I get". Once the benefits cease, so does commitment.
I recently received a telemarketers call trying to tempt me to switch power and water companies. The generation "Y'er", couldn't believe me when I told him how long we had been with my present company and he laughed! "We cam save you 20% on your bills, why wouldn't you switch, it just makes sense, doesn't it?" His criteria for switching was money not loyalty, but then
again, I am not a generation "Y'er".
Loyalty is to individuals, not just companies.
The debate over employee loyalty comes down to the actions of the more dominant side of the relationship — the firm. “The employee/employer relationship has changed because of the firms. You hear people say that ’employees just don’t care about having long-term employment relationships.’
The 1980s, was all about “taking control of your career, and your life". With the advent of businesses placing profit ahead of loyalty, loyalty was re-defined.
People have always wanted to be more in control of their lives, what’s different now, is how the firms treat employees.
Wharton management professor Adam Cobb, rationalizes the reciprocal exchange between employer and employee by saying “It seems strange to me to be loyal to a firm that I know has no loyalty to me,” and sure enough, it does make sense, unless one defines loyalty as something that one GIVES, without reciprocal expectation.
Having spent the greater part of my life investing as a volunteer in none profit organisations (often without payment, reward or physical benefit), never basing my loyalty as conditional on their loyalty to me.
With the shift in a global work force, import and export driven economies, transferable pension schemes and a weakening in reciprocal loyalty between firms and individuals, one can only assume that the level of commitment from both parties will weaken further in the years to come. How does that translate:
To you and I?
To you and yours?
To voters and politicians?
To countries and nations
To Pastors and congregations?
To comunities and neighbours?
To parents and children?
The final word must come from and intensely loyal character called Ruth. Ironically, she never uses the term loyalty, but her determined ACTION does. As St. Francis once said. "In all ways and means, preach the gospel and if that doesn't work.....use words!"
Ruth 1:16-17 ESV But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”