Posted by Claudia Moser on 7:53 PM in ,
Loyalty is a hard theme, I need to confess this from the beginning since it took some long silent minutes to have a glimpse of an idea. I actually wanted to share with you a beautiful story from Jorge Bucay called Searching for Buddha but it did not find it translated (note for self: I should do the translation since it is worth sharing!). Thus more moments of silence, a short question towards Peter if he would have an idea, he didn't. I did not have this blockage before for the GBE2 themes, it usually came easily but this is an experience which I should cheerish.

But I did come up with an idea, I wouldn't write this entry otherwise, right?

My view on the theme, is loyalty in business, for an employee vs employer.

Different cultures place varying values on loyalty to the employer. In some countries, most notably in Asia, there is a high degree of loyalty to one company, it is actually requested, an aspect of the culture. The company is actually treated like a big family, the relationships have a deeper meaning. The employer takes care of his employee, supports him and motivates him, while the employee is concerned for the company's welfare. For sure, one aspect which should not neglect, is the employee's standing, he may miss out on opportunities outside the company, while the employer may not have new brought-in skills.

Nevertheless, even if this was the case in Europe, a couple of decades ago, it is not anymore a value. Actually it is granted that an employee changes jobs in order to achieve a better position, to earn more money or to get a better title.

I often discuss with my husband about loyalty towards a company. I tend to be loyal, since I do my best to develop me further within the structures. Until now I did not have many jobs (3 in 12 years), somehow I believe you need time to get your place, to adjust, to get your abilities and skills used at their best. But at the same time I do believe that once you have reached your level of incompetence, you need to move on, to find new challenges.

What about you?



Age old loyalty definitely appears to have become a dying concept. The young folk I know change jobs very readily in the pursuit of better salaries and better opportunities. Here, it's called climbing the upwardly mobile ladder as fast as you can! I'm not sure it's a good thing, necessarily, but it does seem to be the way things work now.

Hi Claudia. I agree with Desiree, that loyalty to Companies doesn't seem to exist very much any more, as it did in my day. But I guess that's because of the whole job situation at the moment, especially with this recession. And it works both ways of course, but even when people are in employment, I listen to them talk, and they don't seem to have much loyalty.

When my husband first worked for the local gas company he felt loyalty. The President used to come by and visit the shops and talk with all the workers. Things were fair and good.

Then they were bought by a huge corporation and there is now no loyalty by management or employee. It is like a mini war is going on. The new management took away benefits and fought with the union. Everything has changed.

I've always been a loyal worker for any company I've worked for. When I didn't feel that way any longer, it was time to move on. If you are not loyal and are working for someone you cannot give 100% of your best. That's my opinion anyway. Good post!

You thought of a great post quickly, so I'd say you're a success!


@Desiree - I actually believe that a mix is the best solution. I don't actually see the point in simply climbing the ladder when you actually don't bring or have any added value. But your analysis is correct, this is the trend!
@Diane - no, loyalty is no longer a value and somehow it is destroying the relationships within companies. Well observed!
@Barb - yes, other times, other needs / requirements. And yes loyalty should be present in order to be dedicated, I agree!
@Joyce - I thought that I bring in a little challenge!

Quite right, I agreed with the Asian culture, the idea of being like in a family will be embraced with lots of positive outcome. Running my own business, and being from Asia, I do expect my staff to be loyal. However, that concept could be alien to some. Fortunately, my team are incredibly loyal people! Phew.

Well, Claudia...I wrote a big, long, thoughtful comment that I lost when my router went wonky. Grrr..... Sorry, I don't have the patience (nor the time) to do it again. So, suffice it to say that loyalty carried me very, VERY far into a successful career in human resources with my 36 year employer. Sadly, the job practices (which I call self promotions) as it is today, too often lead one to reach a level of incompetence. That does not happen when a person grows with an organization. Great blog!

@Sisi - you are indeed lucky and thank you for your insight, I am glad I did assess the Asian culture properly!
@Darlene - sorry for the lost comment, but happy you insist to post one! Your comments are very true, and I do agree with you. And thank you for your words of appreciation!

I also wrote on this subject in a slightly different way. I find it very sad that loyalty has become a thing of the past. Both from the employee and from the employer. I believe both business and worker are more successful when there is mutual respect and loyalty. But that was 'then' and this is 'now'.

@Jo - well, maybe we should learn something from the 'then' :)

Anonymous says:

In my parents' generation, people often retired from the same company where they began, straight out of school. That is certainly not the case any more and that's unfortunate in a lot of ways. Employees of those companies quite literally spent their lives together and formed bonds every bit as close as family. These days, though we certainly develop great friendships at work, people commonly leave after a few years and with everyone's free time at a premium, only the very deepest bonds continue.

I LOVE that you took a unique approach to this week's topic!

It was a hard theme for me too but I'd say you did an excellent job! Unique and insightful.

My take on it is--that loyalty in the work place HAS to be a two way street.

Give me the tools and incentives to help me help the company succeed...and I will do everything I can to make sure that happens. In return--I give 110%, a great can-do attitude and nearly perfect attendance. I will go that extra mile--I'll reinvent myself--you name it. And this is where I am now.

However, a good many years back I was with a company that wanted all these things out of their employees--the loyalty--but gave no loyalty in return. I had seen them be ruthless--uncaring--and as almost a scare tactic to keep people always guessing. I finally couldn't do it anymore--and left and started my own business at the time.

I am grateful to be with the company I am with now!!!

Claudia--great take on loyalty :) Cheers, Jenn.

@Beth - as always your themes inspire me and loyalty made me think as well. My mother for example works in the same company for 30 years now and the level of respect she has is amazing. But times did change and it is rather hard for her to keep the pace with the 'hot shots'. But the bonds are there and they will never break!
@Langley - thank you!
@Jenn - I totally agree with you and I believe you made the right move.

I have found that I am more of the old school. I tend to be loyal to the company that I work for because I hate change. My husband on the other hand moves on when we can't pay the bills and work slows down. Finally I have convinced him that every summer seems to be slow no matter where he goes, so for once he stayed put. In this day and age, jobs are scarce. You are better to hold onto it if you get one, because there might not be another to go to.


@Kathy - correct comment in respect to jobs' availability!

I don't really feel any type of affection toward a corporation.

@Eccentricity - fair enough!

Nice little post. Here in New Zealand loyalty to one's employer has gone out the door, especially since the '90 day law' was passed which allows employers to sack workers within 90 days without having to give any reason.

@Kiwi - no really? So unfair!

Interesting take on the theme. I'd have to say I'm not a loyal employee - my attention span lasts about a year before I bore. My loyalty lies with family, travel and experience far over business or money, and as soon as I feel work is impairing life, I tend to move on. It also lies with clients, in that if I feel they are being told less than the truth I am not comfortable for long. (Worked in admissions for a for-profit college and burned out as soon as I saw larger picture of it all.)

However, as long as I am with a company, I put 1000% into it. I give it everything I have to give in terms of ideas and work ethic.

I have a friend who is in education, and worked as a teacher for many years. Now she has her Master's and wants to move into administration. She was told that in order to succeed she needed to "get over her loyalty to our school" and take a job elsewhere.

@Alana - thank you for sharing your approach, I found it very interesting to get so much feedback on the theme thank you!
@Justonevoice - this is a very unfair situation!

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"A story is not like a road to follow … it's more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you."
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