Friday, June 4, 2010

Employee/Employer Loyalty

I have been reading a lot of articles over the past week, and there seems to be a trend on employees concerns dealing with two different topics. I wanted to throw my hat in the ring and share some personal opinions on these two topics.

The first is employee/employer loyalty and the second is co-workers that sabotage others.

According to, being loyal is defined as:

1. faithful to one's sovereign, government, or state: a loyal subject.

2. faithful to one's oath, commitments, or obligations: to be loyal to a vow.

3. faithful to any leader, party, or cause, or to any person or thing conceived as deserving fidelity: a loyal friend.

4. characterized by or showing faithfulness to commitments, vows, allegiance, obligations, etc.: loyal conduct.

I would like to focus on number 3 in the definition.  "Faithful to any leader, party or cause, or to any person or thing conceived as deserving fidelity: a loyal friend".  When it comes to being loyal one has to have a greater sense of fidelity, not only with themselves, but the place they fought so hard to work.  The individual does not need to expect that they will have friends in the company or that the company is their friend, that is a different relationship all together.  I believe that, over time, the true colors of any relationship come out and often times people do not know how to confront them.  In the first months of employment, an employee is learning, looking and collecting their personal data about the organization.  Often there will be some issue that makes the employee question "how loyal will this manager or company be to me"?  Maybe it was a negative review, maybe it is falling into the group of disgruntled workers that every place has, or maybe it is just the expectations that the employee had for the company are found to have been to high.  Employees need to make sure they take extra time to also interview the company before they take the position to lessen the chance of of finding this in the future.

Now I know this economy is not great, and many individuals just want to find a job, any old job, to make sure they continue to be able to provide for themselves and their families. This is one of the worst things that can negatively affect an employee’s loyalty. It might show that they are not really dedicated to the employer, making the employer see more negative in the employee.  On the other hand, many employers do not really do much to praise the employee, motivate the employee and help them progress. There seems to also be a trend that, even as high up the ladder as the CEO, people can feel under appreciated.  Employers need to nurture their employees, praise them and help mediate when problems arise so that the work environment can be less hostile.

Most states are “at will” employment states.  This does not mean employers need to be loyal to the employee, it just means that the employee might work under a constant state of fear, wondering if that meeting they were not invited to attend could be a bad sign.  Does the fact that the newest sales person was given the account they were working on mean something.  In the days gone by, there were people who would gain employment and stay there until retirement, the trend now is for an employee to enter a company, get some experience and then take that experience to another company that seems to be more apt to nurturing the employee, until the cycle comes back around.

I know that employers feel that the pay check and the minimal benefits they provide should be the motivating factor of someone wanting to show more loyalty, but, in fact, that is just all a part of that “employment contract” that is entered into when the offer is accepted. These are not the benefits that will help that employee want to be loyal to the company. What does help is advancement, and opportunities for the employee to shine, to gain notoriety in the company and to be groomed to move up in the company and excel.

Most companies today have one goal, and that is to get the most out of the least amount of people. This mindset helps employees burn out and become frustrated and looking for other employment opportunities. On the other hand, I do think that employees need to remember what they have… Employment. Employees tend to forget that they themselves are responsible for their own happiness and dedication to the employers. The real solution is to have weekly meetings with the employees, share the news of the company and give praise where it is deserved. Keep the lines of communication open, and keep everyone, from the lowest person on the totem pole to the highest person, completely and honestly informed as to what is going on in the company. Secrets will break down a company faster than anything. Secrets start the rumor mill going and that is like dynamite for a company where that one person who is frustrated and unhappy will begin to spread their paranoia like a blazing wild fire.

Since this is so long I will name it part 1 and make the sabotaging article part 2.

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